The embarrassing defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the constituencies of Gorakhpur, previously held by its poster boy and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, and Phulpur held by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, have served a hard blow to the party that was buoyant after its massive victory in three states of the North-East.
Even in Bihar, where the BJP had recently forged an alliance with the JD(U) to stake claim to form the state government, it managed to retain the Bhabua assembly constituency but couldn’t wrestle the Jehanabad assemble seat from the RJD.
While the BJP has been appearing confident of its victory in next year’s general election, it may now face different ground realities with new alignment of political forces to defeat its might. If the new political alliance between the BSP and Samajwadi Party continues in future and encourages other Opposition parties to forge similar alliances, it may pose a big challenge for the saffron party’s grand plans; its master strategist and president Amit Shah has set the target of winning all 80 parliamentary seats in the state in the 2019 general election. In 2014, the BJP had won 77 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the crucial state.
According to political analyst and journalist Gopal Mishra, “The cause of the defeat is a hazardous mix of Modi’s rhetoric and the undermining of the basic protocol of professional administration. The claim of giving an hon