BSP chief Mayawati targeted the Samajwadi Party over its defeat in the Gola Gokarannath assembly bypolls, asking what excuse will it give for the loss given that her party did not contest the election. She said it remains to be seen whether the Akhilesh Yadav-led party will be able to retain the Mainpuri Lok Sabha and Rampur assembly seats where bypolls are scheduled on December 5.
BJP’s Aman Giri won the Gola Gokarannath assembly bypoll in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, defeating his nearest rival and Samajwadi Party candidate Vinay Tiwari by over 34,000 votes, a senior official said.
With the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress keeping away, it was a direct contest between the BJP and the SP.
”Gola Gokarnnath assembly by-election is in a lot of discussions. It is more so because of the SP’s defeat by 34,298 votes than the BJP’s victory. When the BSP mostly does not contest by-elections and was not in the fray here too, what new excuse will SP make for its defeat?” Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi In another tweet, she said, ”By-elections to Mainpuri Lok Sabha and Rampur assembly are scheduled next month. Just like Azamgarh, the SP has the challenge to retain these old seats. It is to be seen whether the SP will be able to win these seats or will it be proved again that it is not able to defeat the BJP.” Mayawati’s caustic remarks are apparently in response to the Samajwadi Party blaming the BSP for its defeat in the February-March assembly polls as well as in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat later.
Akhilesh Yadav and other SP leaders have been accusing the BSP of helping the BJP defeat them by dividing secular votes. The accusation became louder after the SP lost in the Azamgarh bypoll which was held after Akhilesh Yadav vacated the seat upon being elected as an MLA.
BSP candidate Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali had bagged 2.66 lakh votes in the Azamgarh bypoll, resulting in the defeat of SP candidate Dharmendra Yadav who got 3.04 lakh votes. The BJP emerged as the winner with its candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua getting 3.12 lakh votes.
The SP and BSP’s continued feud in the politically significant state of Uttar Pradesh augurs badly for the opposition unity in the 2024 general election.
After the Gola Gokarannath assembly bypolls defeat, the next big challenge before the Samajwadi Party is to defend its home turf of Mainpuri Parliamentary seat and that of Rampur assembly constituency in the December 5 bye-elections.
Mainpuri seat fell vacant after the death of SP patron Mulayam Singh Yadav. In the Rampur assembly constituency, its sitting MLA Azam Khan was disqualified following his conviction in a hate speech case.