With a margin of over 25,000 votes, Samajwadi Party’s candidate Sudhakar Singh is clearly leading over his BJP rival Dara Singh Chauhan in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi bypoll on Friday.
According to the Election Commission, Singh has garnered 84,417 votes, while Chauhan so far got 58,684 by 4 pm.
The choice of the BJP candidate proved wrong as Chauhan is considered as a party hopper. Chauhan is unpopular even in his own constituency as he did not do anything good for his constituency when is served minister in the first Yogi government.
The Ghosi assembly seat fell vacant by the resignation of Chauhan, who had won the seat in the UP assembly polls, from the Samajwadi Party in July. Later Chauhan returned to BJP and he was fielded as the party’s candidate in the bypoll.
On the other hand, Singh's victory means a united opposition can chip away at the BJP's upper caste vote. INDIA bloc constituents including Congress, CPI(M), AAP, RLD, CPI, and Suheldev Swabhiman Party, have extended support to Singh. If Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati too joins the alliance then it would be a tight fight in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The defeat of BJP is an embarassing loss as its the first face off against INDIA bloc.
SP had make numerous complaints against polling officials and police. Had said that Muslim voters were being turned away.
A voter turnout of 50.77 per cent was recorded in Ghosi, Mau district.
Last year, Chauhan had defeated BJP candidate Vijay Kumar Rajbhar by a margin of 22,216 votes.
NDA partners including Apna Dal (Sonelal), Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (NISHAD) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party extended support to Chauhan.
BJP’s Om Prakash Rajbhar who had gloated that many others from the opposition would join the BJP also faces criticism. It is known that even his own party men are not happy with his BJP handshake.
Also, SP had made numerous complaints against polling officials and police. They alleged that the Muslim voters were turned away from the poll booths.
Meanwhile, with the BJP’s defeat, there are rumours that the state ministry expansion likely to take place on September 10 won’t happen.
Though BJP enjoys a comfortable majority in the state assembly, the bypoll election outcome indicates the road ahead for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for the INDIA bloc.
Reacting to the results, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party's Om Prakash Rajbhar said, "When the opposition loses it blames the EVMs. This proves that fair elections are held under the NDA. We shall contemplate on our inadequacies and learn lessons. We will win the 2024 election."
Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, "This is a victory of the thought of the voters of Ghosi....This is an election where a single MLA has won, but many probable ministers from many parties have lost."
With inputs from Puja Awasthi