Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

Write a review

  • Please wait...

Heartland strike: UP and Bihar bypolls suggest BJP’s Hindi belt honeymoon is over

UP and Bihar are India’s heartland where political parties will be looking to strike gold in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. And UP’s Gorakhpur and Phulpur parliamentary constituencies – whose seats were recently vacated by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya – may be seen as a heartland within the heartland. For BJP – which swept UP winning a record 312 out of 403 assembly seats just a year ago – losing both Gorakhpur and Phulpur bypolls to Akhilesh Yadav’s SP means the sheen has come off. Its honeymoon phase is definitively over and anti-incumbency is nipping at its heels.

That message was reinforced in Bihar as well, where despite tying up with chief minister Nitish Kumar and breaking up the mahagathbandhan BJP came second in Araria bypoll to Lalu Prasad’s RJD. Bihar assembly bypolls for Bhabhua and Jehanabad were a 1-1 draw between NDA and opposition. RJD is back despite Lalu being in jail; and SP is back spurred by its alliance with BSP. However, the party that is not back – and this is cause for relief to BJP – is Congress.

It got whitewashed everywhere and ended up with a self-goal too. While UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had invited opposition leaders to dinner to display their unity, Congress failed to back the winning SP-BSP combination while faring badly itself. Former CM Akhilesh reaching out to arch rival and supremo of BSP – Mayawati – was a smart ploy that proved successful and suggests a template for the future.

The ill effects of demonetisation, poor implementation of GST, unemployment amongst youth and agrarian distress are coming home to roost for BJP. Discontent among BJP’s supporters can be gauged by the fact that voter turnout in urban assembly segments like Allahabad North (21.65%) and Allahabad West (31%) of Phulpur, and Gorakhpur City (33%) of Gorakhpur was lower than in rural segments. What still works in BJP’s favour is its formidable electoral machinery, many foot soldiers and the fragmented character of the opposition. Nevertheless, these bypoll results will hearten opposition parties to make a fight of it against the dominant BJP in upcoming state and national elections.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Course Curriculum