Akhilesh meets Mayawati after Samajwadi Party's victory in bypolls

Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party supporters
celebrate their success

Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party supporters celebrate their success

The call for putting up a common front by the opposition in the 2019 elections came after BJP's defeat on Wednesday in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the constituencies of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.

"We both are young and together will have to find a way out to the problems facing the country".

This pales in comparison to BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha victory where, on an average, it had a lead of 1.88 lakh votes across 73 Lok Sabha seats.

In the prestigious Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, the home turf of Adityanath, the SP's Praveen Kumar Nishad defeated the BJP's Upendra Dutt Shukla.

A day after the massive jolt in the Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha bypolls, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Thursday that the defeat was a lesson for the saffron party. Congratulations also to the workers, good leadership and to the winning candidates.

Since SP had contested in an alliance with the Congress, votes polled by the Congress have been considered as SP votes across constituencies where the Samajwadi Party did not field candidates.

The Congress, which lost its deposit in both seats after refusing to join the SP-BSP alliance, was left expressing its satisfaction on that point at least.

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According to the BSP chief, people were disappointed with the performance of the Modi government. "Rahul Gandhi has congratulated me as well as other senior leaders and I have thanked them all", Mr Yadav said referring to the Congress chief. Keshubhai Patel, the then towering chief minister of Gujarat, was replaced by Modi in 2001 after the BJP's defeat in the Sabarkantha Lok Sabha and Sabarmati Assembly bypolls.

The RJD registered emphatic victories in Araria Lok Sabha and Jehanabad assembly seats.

An Indian political party that governs a southern state quit Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coalition on Friday blaming it for a lack of financial support, officials said, in a blow to the coalition ahead of national elections next year. The BJP, in fact, will shrink from 73 (including two seats of its alliance partner) to merely 23.

The meeting between them has triggered speculation about a possible tie up between the SP and BSP on lines of a grand alliance in the run up to the crucial 2019 general elections. "The victory is a jolt to communal politics", AAP MP Sanjay Singh said. The BJP had gone to town calling the alliance between SP and BSP opportunistic but apparently failed to convince voters to rally behind it and ultimately lost the plot and by-elections. "The result is an indicator and it will have its impact in 2019", he told PTI.

But in by-elections in 10 parliamentary seats since past year, the BJP has lost all of them. With a significant Muslim population, BSP won the seat in 2009 but was relegated to third spot in 2014.

In the Gujarat elections in December 2017, three caste-based social movements, those of Patels, Dalits and OBCs, were arrayed against the BJP.

Talking to a leading English Daily, Yogi added that the setback was a lesson for the BJP.

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