BJP wins back seats it lost in bypolls in UP last year
The BJP appears to have put behind the defeat it had suffered in three bypolls in UP last year to win Kairana, Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats back in the 2019 general election.
The bypolls were seen as a test run by the 'mahagathbandhan' and the success then had prompted the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to join hands for the Lok Sabha election in the state.
The move, however, did not give them the results they had desired.
In Kairana, BJP's Pradeep Kumar defeated the sitting MP Tabassum Hasan of SP by a margin of 92,160 votes.
Kumar is the sitting MLA from Gangoh assembly constituency, which falls in Saharanpur district but comes under the Kairana parliamentary constituency.
In the bypoll in May last year, the BJP had lost to the joint opposition candidate Tabassum Hasan, who had then contested on RLD's ticket.
The seat had fallen vacant after the death of senior BJP leader Hukum Singh. For Kairana bypoll, the BJP had fielded Singh's daughter Mriganka.
Hasan was supported by Congress, SP and BSP for the bypoll.
In Gorakhpur, the home turf of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP candidate Ravi Kishan defeated SP's Rambhual Nishad in the general election.
In the bypoll in the constituency last year, SP's Praveen Nishad had won. However before the Lok Sabha election, Praveen Nishad joined the BJP and was fielded from Sant Kabirnagar parliamentary constituency.
He won from Sant Kabirnagar by a margin of 35,749 votes.
In Phulpur, BJP candidate Keshari Devi Patel defeated her nearest rival SP's Pandhari Yadav by a margin of 1.71 lakh votes.
Keshav Prasad Maurya, now the state deputy chief minister, had for the first time won the seat for BJP, which was once associated with India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
In the Phulpur bypoll last year, SP had defeated the BJP candidate.
Reacting to the BJP's success on the three seats, UP BJP media coordinator Rakesh Tripathi told PTI, "The agony of the bypoll defeats in the state has turned into elation for us because of the brilliant groundwork of Sunil Bansal, general secretary (organisation) of UP unit of the party, who was continuously in touch with party workers across the state."
Tripathi said the BJP has changed the political narrative in Uttar Pradesh.