LUCKNOW: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav has called his party’s win in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha byelections as a victory of social justice, saying the verdict of the people shows that they are angry with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Thanking Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for its support in the bypolls, Yadav said, "Our Dalit brothers helped us secure a victory".
The former chief minister also used the opportunity to lash out at UP CM Yogi Aditayanth and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing the BJP of making false promises to people. "If people in those areas are so angry with them, just imagine the situation when elections are held across the country," said Yadav.
He further accused the BJP of not respecting the law of the land the Constitution. "BJP will now have to move from the path of destruction to development,” he said, adding that the ruling party was "causing harm to the country and spreading hatred". "In the pretext of nationalism, they cheat people," he added.
The Samajwadi Party leader also recalled a recent statement by CM Adityanath made in the UP Assembly on his not celebrating Eid. "He (Yogi Adityanath) said on the floor of the House that I am a Hindu and I don’t celebrate Eid, he said sentences like 'encounter kar do’ on the floor of the House. They are spreading hatred," he said.
Referring to assurances of the BJP before the elections, Yadav said that they did not fulfil any of their promises.
In a huge blow to the ruling BJP, the Samajwadi Party won both the Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur which were vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had backed its bitter rival the SP.
The SP candidate in Gorakhpur, Pravin Nishad defeated his nearest rival Upendra Dutt Shukla (BJP). In Phulpur too, the SP candidate, Nagendra Singh Patel, defeated its nearest rival Kaushlendra Singh Patel of BJP.
"This is a rejection of both (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and Yogi (Adityanath)," SP spokesman Anurag Bhaudauria told IANS.
"They have been making tall promises but not delivering on the ground," he said, explaining why the voters appeared to have turned away against the BJP so dramatically in these two seats since the 2014 Lok Sabha battle.
In 2014, the BJP stunningly won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats while one of its allies secured two. The SP had won from five seats. The Congress and BSP had drawn a blank.