LUCKNOW: In the first electoral contest in UP post 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the falling apart of the SP-BSP alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in the Hamirpur Assembly bypoll on Friday. The seat, which fell vacant after the sitting BJP MLA Ashok Singh Chandel was disqualified following his conviction in a 22-year-old murder case, was won by his partyman Yuvraj Singh by defeating his nearest rival Manoj Prajapati of Samajwadi Party (SP) by a margin of 17,771 votes.
51 per cent votes were cast during voting that took place on Monday, September 23. While Yuvraj bagged 74,168 votes, Manoj Prajapati got 56,397 votes. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Naushad Ali got 28,749 votes and Congress' Hardeepak Nishad came on fourth with a little over 16,000 votes.
The winning candidate attributed his victory to the development carried out by the Yogi government under the leadership of PM Modi. This has been the first bypoll victory of the saffron party after four back-to-back defeats in Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Nurpur in 2018 when the Samajwadi Party was extended support from the BSP, RLD and other players. Hamirpur broke the bypoll jinx for the BJP as Yogi Adityanath himself had gone to address public meetings in the constituency while no senior opposition leader campaigned for their candidates.
While Gorakhpur is the bastion of Yogi Aditynath, Phulpur was the seat vacated by Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya. The BJP had won the first bypoll in Sikandara immediately after riding to power in UP with a mammoth mandate in 2017. This was also the first time that the BSP, in a major shift from its policy of not contesting bypoll, had fielded its candidate for the Hamipur seat. However, BJP has not had an impressive record of bypoll victories. In 2014 Lok Sabah elections when the party had decimated the opposition by winning 71 of 80 seats, it had lost 8 of the 12 assembly constituencies which had fallen vacant due to the election of sitting MLAs to lower house of parliament. In 2015, BJP had faced a drubbing in two bypoll and in 2016, it could win just one seat of five in the by-elections.