In stunning blow, BJP loses UP LS seats vacated by Yogi, deputy CM

LUCKNOW/ NEW DELHI: BJP suffered a huge setback on Wednesday when it lost the prestige bypolls for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats in UP to the SP-BSP alliance, and could not take advantage of its resurrected alliance with JD(U) to wrest the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar from RJD. The outcome sends out a warning signal to BJP about its strength in two states that are critical to its prospects of staying in office in Delhi beyond its current term. It could put a fresh question mark over its unquestioned frontrunner status for the next Lok Sabha polls, spoiling the party over the recent saffron successes in the north-east.

The twin victories will encourage SP and BSP to try the “winning formula” in the 2019 polls, an estimate reinforced by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s “thanksgiving visit” to Mayawati, the BSP boss who has bounced back as a factor, defying the obituaries which were penned after she drew a blank in LS polls and finished a miserable third in assembly…

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