MEERUT: After Gorakhpur and Phoolpur loss, BJP faced its second successive defeat in bypolls after it conceded the Kairana Lok Sabha seat to grand alliance candidate in a fierce electoral battle.
RLD candidate Tabassum Hasan defeated her nearest rival BJP’s Mriganka Singh by over 55,000 votes. SP candidate Naimul Hasan won in Bijnor’s Noorpur by 6,211 votes defeating Avani Singh of BJP, adding to the party’s humiliating defeat in bypolls barely a year away from general elections.
Riding on polarisation and sympathy votes, BJP was served a blow both in Kairana and Noorpur – where opposition had come together to field a common candidate, an experiment that had tasted success in Gorakhpur and Phoolpur earlier this year.
Both western UP seats had fallen vacant after the death of sitting BJP legislators in MP Hukum Singh of Kairana (who died of ill-health) and MLA Lokender Singh of Noorpur who passed away in an accident.
In order to garner sympathy votes, BJP had fielded daughter and wife of the deceased leaders.
Kairana has been the most watched constituency with huge political relevance so much so senior leaders including CM Yogi visited repeatedly for campaigning in this region.
Even PM Modi chose to inaugurate Eastern peripheral expressway just a day before bypoll in the neighbouring district Baghpat drawing great amount of criticism from opposition that even rushed to EC to get it cancelled in order to prevent its influence on bypoll.
Kairana Lok Sabha constituency comprises five assembly seats – Kairana, Shamli, Thanabhawan, Nakud and Gangoh. Out of these five BJP could win only in Shamli and Kairana with a margin of 414 and 14,203 votes but lost in the remaining three. In Shamli it lost by 16,336 votes. In Gangoh and Nakud which fall in Saharanpur district, BJP lost by 12,263 and 28,117 votes respectively.
One of the BJP poll supervisors — Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan — conceded defeat stating, “We respect decision of voters and cannot question that. We went into the masses with records of our good work but many a times, politics of religion and caste spoils things. We will sit and analyse where we failed and work accordingly.”
Tabassum Hasan meanwhile declared victory and stated, “The truth has won eventually and indication of what is going to happen in 2019.”