UP by-elections: Parties realise only way to challenge BJP is to unite
The Uttar Pradesh by-election results have come as a shock for the BJP. The Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies were bagged by the Samajwadi Party which was in an understanding with the BSP.
Both the seats were held by the BJP and had to be vacated after Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya took over as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of UP respectively.
Ahead of the elections, a lot was spoken about this alliance between the BSP and SP. Mayawati, however, maintained that technically it was not an alliance. The BJP, however, called this alliance an unholy one.
The understanding between the traditional rivals, SP-BSP appears to have done a world of good. Any win over the BJP these days is considered to be a morale booster for the opposition parties.
However, the coming together of the SP-BSP certainly has helped them. Both the Lok Sabha constituencies consist of ten assembly segments. The BJP had won nine of the ten in the 2017 UP elections. However if one looks at the combined vote share of the BSP-SP and Congress, it would have left the BJP with one seat. The SP and BSP had together polled 44 per cent of the votes. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the SP and BSP had polled 38.7 per cent of the votes when compared to the BJP's 52 per cent.
Dr Sandeep Shastri, leading political scientist says that since the 1960s and 1970s one has come a full circle. In the 60s and 70s, it was anti-Congressism while now it is anti-BJPism.
The result would spur anti-BJP unity as these parties realise the only way to challenge the BJP is by uniting, Dr Shastri also adds.