Will these by elections have any bearing on 2019 Lok Sabha elections?
New Delhi: The opposition political parties have emerged victorious on 11 seats in the by-elections limiting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies to just three seats. If these victories are a setback for the ruling BJP then it is an impressive show of strength for the Opposition in the by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats spreading across 11 states. But will they have any bearing on 2019 Lok Sabha elections?
In a politically sensitive state, the BJP has lost Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar which was not only politically important but sensitive as well where united Opposition has put up Tabussam Hasan as Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate.
The region where by-elections were held is generally communally surcharged with Muslims dominating in certain areas. The people of the region are financially well off. The BJP has also lost the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra where its own ally is making things difficult for it.
Political analysts say that these wins could be a major boost for the opposition parties which are gradually uniting in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
Results of these elections appeared slanted against the BJP after taking into account the parties that had won these seats before by polls were necessitated.
While the BJP alliance retained two Lok Sabha seats -- one in Maharashtra and another in Nagaland -- it failed to retain two others -- UP's Kairana and Maharashtra's Bhandara-Gondiya.
Similarly in 10 Assembly seats, the BJP and its allies failed to retain seats like Noorpur in UP and Shahkot in Punjab, while the opposition parties such as the Congress, CPM, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Trinamool retained their respective seats.
The BJP retained Tharali Assembly seat in Uttarakhand by slender margin but the Samajwadi Party snatched Noorpur in UP from the saffron outfit. The Samajwadi Party's Naeemul Hasan defeated his nearest BJP rival Avni Singh by over 9000 votes to win this seat.
But amid all these drubbing, the BJP leaders are of the view that by elections and general elections are different. Moreover, these elections would not have any impact either on the central government or the state government anywhere.
Sources in the BJP said that when people will come out to vote in 2019 Lok Sabah election they would come with different mindset and you will see the result remarkably different.
The BJP has been able to retain Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra where it had faced a challenge from its own ally Shiv Sena. Rajendra Gavit of the BJP has won the seat defeating Shiv Sena's Shrinivas Wanaga by 29,574 votes.
In Palghar, the opposition could not pose a united face. Nagaland was another constituency where the Lok Sabha poll was held earlier this week. The seat has gone in favour of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), which is part of the National Democratic Alliance in the northeastern state.
The Lok Sabha by-elections result appeared equally divided. The BJP and its ally have one two seats while opposition has also won two Lok Sabha seats. But figures for the 10 Assembly by-polls have come as the big disappointment for the ruling party which could manage to win just one seat in Uttarakhand while the Congress bagged three one each in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab and others got six -- JMM got two in Jharkhand, while CPM, SP, RJD and Trinamool Congress (TMC) got one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has won Jokihat assembly seat In Bihar by defeating Janata Dal (U) by a huge margin giving a big jolt to chief minister Nitish Kumar who dumped the RJD and the Congress last year to join hands with the BJP to form a new coalition government in Bihar.
Commenting on the results, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said one has to take two steps backward before a big leap. On being asked about the BJP's performance in these by-elections ahead of next year's general polls, Singh said, "For a massive leap, one always has to go two steps backward."
Punjab's ruling Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi wrested the Shahkot assembly seat from the Shiromani Akali Dal, defeating the party's nominee Naib Singh Kohar with a margin of 38,801 votes, an election office spokesperson said.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has hailed the Congress victory as a 'vindication' of the government's people-centric policies, a rejection of the 'negative' politics of SAD and 'decimation' of Aam Aadmi Party.