New Delhi, Nov 7: From losing Gorakhpur and Phulpur earlier this year to dismal show in the Karnataka by-elections, the BJP's performance in the bypolls since 2014 has been abysmal. To put it in numbers, the BJP has managed to win just four out of 23 Lok Sabha bypolls since storming to power in 2014.
While this is a cause of concern for the BJP, it has bolstered the confidence of the opposition, especially the Congress. But more than Congress, it is the regional parties who have gained from these polls. In Gorakhpur and Phulpur, considered as the BJP strongholds, the Samajwadi Party managed to trounce the mighty BJP.
Loss in Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls was a major blow to the BJP for two reasons. One is that these seats were held by tall BJP leaders like Keshav Prasad Maurya and Yogi Adityanath. Another is that the BJP had swept UP in 2014 by winning over 70 seats, which many see as one of the major reasons for BJP getting an absolute majority in Lok Sabha. Other than these, one also must consider that Gorakhpur seat was held by Adityanath for five consecutive terms before losing to SP in 2018.
Of the 23 Lok Sabha seats that witnessed bypolls since 2014, 10 were previously held by the BJP. The party has not added any new seats to its kitty, but has lost six. It has managed to hold on to just four seats.
In contrast, the Congress has won five of these bypoll battles - more than any other party. It managed to retain the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat and wrested the others from the BJP.
Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, Gurdaspur in Punjab, Alwar and Ajmer in Rajasthan were the seats which were originally held by the BJP but snatched away by the Congress in bypolls.
In 2016, the BJP retained the Lakhimpur seat in Assam and the Shahdol seat in Madhya Pradesh, but failed to wrest the Trinamool strongholds of Coochbehar and Tamluk in West Bengal.
TMC's performance was best when compared to other parties, as it managed to retain all the four seats that went to bypolls since 2014.
The BJP leaders have attributed these losses to local issues playing a role in byelections, and have rejected notions that it may have any impact on the 2019 General Elections.