UP bypoll result re-establishes BJP’s invincibility over political rivals: Experts

LUCKNOW: The BJP’s comprehensive win in the bye-election for Gola Gokarannath assembly seat on Sunday re-established the invincibility of the saffron outfit over its political opponents – especially the key rival Samajwadi Party – in recent times, experts said.
The win reinforced a typical pattern mirroring BJP’s victory in Rampur bye-elections held earlier this year. Political experts pointed out that like in Rampur, BJP’s win in Gola Gokarannath came about in the discreet absence of Mayawati’s BSP and the Congress. Besides, while the BJP pulled out all the stops with CM Yogi Adityanath campaigning for the candidate, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav stayed away from the campaign.
Observers said that the BJP already had a clear advantage of having the sympathy factor on its side – the seat had fallen vacant following the demise of BJP lawmaker Arvind Giri. Even as BJP fielded Giri’s son Aman, the SP banked on its former MLA Vinay Tewari. Party sources said that UP BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhary and general secretary (organisation) Dharampal Singh camped in the constituency and held rounds of meetings down to the level of ‘Panna Pramukh’. In fact, this was the first electoral contest under the direct watch of Chaudhary and Singh.
Ever since Gola Gokarannath seat was formed after the delimitation exercise of 2008, the polls here have been between Giri and Vinay Tewari. Except for 2012, Giri has always defeated Tewari.
“There seemed to have been absolute clarity in the minds of voters,” said Prof SK Pandey, head of the political science department, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU). He said that the “floating voters” – who often remain undecided in the eventuality of a multi-corner contest – did not factor much even as BJP managed to consolidate its position to pull off an easy win.
UP BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai said that the win in Gola Gokarannath bypoll has once again done away with the narrative that the saffron outfit relies on division of non-BJP votes. “People have been showing faith in the BJP government at the Centre and the state. Our party’s stand of cutting through caste and communal lines have been paying off well,” he said.

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