MUMBAI: Describing the BJP’s defeat in the bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as a “shape of things to come”, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday said the results had shown a united opposition could defeat the saffron party-led regime in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
“The bypoll results are a victory of the united forces for social justice. There was no division of votes and thus, the BJP could not benefit from such a split,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told PTI in Mumbai.
“In the 2019 general election, when the secular votes will not get divided, the BJP will be defeated. What happened yesterday will impact the general election,” the former Maharashtra minister said, adding that the results had proved that a united opposition could defeat the BJP-led central government. “It is the mandate of the people that the like-minded parties must unite. We are hopeful that the UPA will consolidate all the secular and like-minded parties,” he said.
On the leaders of 20 opposition parties attending a dinner hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her attempts to rally forces against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Malik said, “The dinner was hosted to discuss floor management in Parliament.”
In a setback to the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the saffron party was trounced in the bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats, including the citadel of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur, yesterday.
Adityanath, who had described the SP-BSP alliance for the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh as the “snake and mongoose” coming together, had to eat his own words as the Akhilesh-Mayawati combine wrested both the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats from the BJP.
In Bihar, the Lalu Prasad-led RJD retained the Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad Assembly seats, while the BJP held on to the Bhabua Assembly constituency.