If dominating the Bihar Assembly elections was the Cake for BJP and its allies, the commanding mandate the party has received in by-polls of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat can be the icing on that cake.
Led by ex-Congressman Jyotiraditya Scindia and the ever so reliable Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP has routed the opposition in MP. Till the reports came in last, BJP was leading on 19 seats and had won one seat, according to the official Election Commission website. The vote share so far has been a staggering 51 percent for the Saffron party, with the closest second being Congress with 40 percent. As a result, the opposition parties viz. Indian National Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have collectively mustered 8 seats up until now.
The by-polls were supposed to be a test of mettle for Jyotiraditya Scindia who earlier this year in March had dumped the grand old party of Congress to switch flanks. The 27 assembly seats were rendered vacant after Scindia’s loyalists had also joined BJP. The elections results are a testament to the fact that Scindia still has considerable sway over the grassroots politics of MP. Scindia is now a Rajya Sabha MP on a BJP ticket and he is returning the faith bestowed upon him by the party.
Another important bypoll was in Uttar Pradesh where 7 seats are up for grabs in Naugawan Sadat, Bulandshahr, Tundla, Bangermau, Ghatampur, Deoria and Malhani constituency. As per the EC data, BJP is currently leading on 6 seats whereas Samajwadi Party has only managed to bag one.
The only seat SP has managed to win is the Malhani seat where Lucky Yadav is leading the BJP candidate Manoj Kumar Singh by 39,477 votes. Other than that, it has been a dismal performance for the regional outfits.
Opposition parties that had tried their level best to convert the Hathras Gang rape into a poll issue to gain the votes have been given a sordid reality check. SP and BSP which in the past had formed an unholy alliance, only to see it break down within months, have faced another crushing defeat against a tidal Modi wave.
The by-polls also marked the political debut of the Bhim Army which by all estimates is set to lose its deposit on all 7 seats.
Going westward, BJP has clean sweeped the Gujarat bypolls whereas in Manipur, it has won the solitary seat that was up for grabs. With election trends looking encouraging in Bihar too, BJP party headquarters will be preparing for a massive feast.