NEW DELHI: The results of four Lok Sabha seats - Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra, Kairana Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland parliamentary constituency – were announced on Thursday. Ahead of next year's general elections, a united opposition got a major boost when it delivered a huge blow to the BJP, defeating it in the Kairana Lok Sabha by-election in Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra while the saffron party managed to retain the Palghar parliamentary seat, its ally Nagaland Democratic Progressive Party won the Nagaland Lok Sabha constituency seat. Today's results also point towards the strengthening of a non-BJP alliance in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the need for the saffron party to devise new strategies to counter the Opposition unity.
The biggest shock for the ruling BJP came from Kairana - a seat the BJP won in 2014 - where the opposition had put up a common candidate. Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate Tabassum Hasan, supported by the Congress, the SP and the BSP, trounced the BJP's Mriganka Singh in Kairana in Uttar Pradesh by over 55,000 votes. Elections were necessitated in Kairana after the seat fell vacant in February following the death of BJP leader Hukum Singh. The BJP had fielded Mriganka Singh, daughter of Hukum Singh, from this seat.
The BJP along with its allies had swept 73 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 general elections and won an overwhelming 312 seats out of a total 423 in the state assembly elections last year. Along with the Kairana reverse, the BJP also suffered the ignominy of losing the Noorpur Assembly seat to the Samajwadi Party in the by-election in Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi candidate Naimul Hassan defeated BJP's Avani Singh by over 6,200 votes.
The Kairana defeat for the BJP comes on top of the failure to retain Gorakhpur and Phulpur in the by-elections in March this year in which the Samajwadi candidates, with the backing of BSP, had defeated BJP candidates.
In Palghar Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win came in a triangular fight in which the candidate of its sulking ally, the Shiv Sena, cornered a considerable chunk of votes. BJP's Rajendra Gavit defeated Shiv Sena's Srinivas Wanga by over 29,500 votes. Palghar is a reserved seat, which was previously held by the BJP. The seat fell vacant after sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga died in January.
Though the BJP won the Palghar seat, its candidate Hemant Patel had to bite the dust in the Bhandara-Gondiya seat in the state with the NCP's Madhukar Kukde snatching the constituency that was won by the BJP in the 2014 poll. The Congress supported the NCP candidate in the current by poll. Kukde defeated Patel by over 45,000 votes. In Bhandra-Gondia, Nana Patole quit as the BJP MP and resigned from the ruling party to return to the Congress earlier this year, necessitating the by-election.
Nagaland Lok Sabha seat
Out of the four Lok Sabha constituencies that voted on May 24, the Nagaland Lok Sabha constituency returned the candidate of the ruling Nagaland Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a BJP ally, who defeated the Naga People's Front (NPF) candidate. NDPP candidate Tokheho Yepthomi defeated NPF's C Apok Jamir by 173,746 votes. NPF, a former BJP ally, had won the seat in 2014. In Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party was the representative of the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland. Rio, who represented this constituency, quit in February to contest in the assembly election. Rio is the Chief Minister of Nagaland.
A positive outcome is necessary for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to maintain its majority in the Lok Sabha. The results will also test the mettle of a united opposition with that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Although after losing from Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the saffron party had profusely campaigned to win the Kairana seat in Uttar Pradesh.
Here is the full list of candidates, who have won the four Lok Sabha seats.
|Lok Sabha seat||Name of candidate||Party|
|Palghar, Maharashtra||Gavit Rajendra Dhedya||BJP|
|Kairana, Uttar Pradesh||Tabassum Hasan||RLD|
|Nagaland Parliamentary constituency||Tokheho Yepthomi||NDPP|