New Delhi/Lucknow: Knives are out in the BJP following the party’s defeat by the united Opposition in both Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh with some MLAs even questioning Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s leadership. A day after the crushing bypoll defeats, BJP president Amit Shah held a meeting of party’s national general secretaries on Friday to discuss issues, including the bypoll losses in UP and the recently concluded Karnataka poll where the party failed to get a simple majority despite being the largest party.
Apart from hinting at a diminishing Modi magic, the margin of bypoll losses shows that the united Opposition has managed to transfer votes to its joint candidate, said a party leader. Saffron spin doctors feel that if the going gets tough for the party in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan Assembly elections later in the year, it may “have to bank upon Hindu consolidation” to return to power. In both MP and Rajasthan, there are a significant number of Dalits and OBCs.
After the bypoll losses, UP MLAs have started questioning CM Adityanath’s leadership amid reports that the BJP cadre is not happy with the state leadership, including many ministers. Many state leaders admitted that despite knowing beforehand that the sugarcane price issue in the region could dent the party’s poll prospects badly, and caste politics will play a crucial role, the party’s poll managers did not take any measures. A section within the BJP’s state unit blamed the choice of candidate in the Lok Sabha bypoll. Fielding late Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka from Kairana was not ideal when her opponent from the RLD was backed by the SP, Congress and the BSP.
Yogi government’s “failure” to “rein in” the state bureaucracy was also said to be one of the reasons behind the BJP’s continued poll losses after Gorakhpur and Phulpur in March.
However, BJP poll managers still believe that Opposition unity would not be able to make much impact in 2019 when every strategy by the joint Opposition will fail in front of PM Narendra Modi.
However, the BJP has to face some serious questions from within, with UP MLA from Gopama, Shyam Prakash, posting a satirical poem on his Facebook page criticising the party leadership, apparently CM Yogi.
The poem says, “Modi ke naam par ban gaye raja, kar na sake janta man kaaj. Sangh, sangathan haath lagaam, mukhya mantra bhi asahay (helpless)."”
Another party MLA Surendra Singh blamed some ministers in the Yogi government for the bypoll losses....