Post six bypoll defeats, BJP brainstorms ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha poll

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The stunning defeat of the BJP comes as a rude wake-up call for the party, coming as it does when the General Elections are just about a year away. To form the government on its own, a party requires at least 272 seats in the Lok Sabha. The saffron party's landslides in UP - in 2014 when it won 71seats (73 if two won by its ally Apna Dal are taken into account) out of 80 Lok Sabha seats and, again, in last year's assembly elections - were helped by a division in the opposition ranks and, to a lesser extent, the split in Muslim votes. "In the Lok Sabha bypoll did they ever ask the alliance partners what could be their possible roles?" he rued. The outcome sends out a warning signal to BJP about its strength in two states that are critical to its prospects of staying in office in Delhi beyond its current term. "Similarly, in Phulpur, we were not invited even once to campaign for the BJP candidate", he said.

"With yesterday's result, there is great possibility that the BJP will advance the Lok Sabha polls, which are otherwise to be held in 2019", Mayawati said.

In Bihar's assembly bypolls, the BJP won Bhabhua seat defeating a Congress candidate whereas the RJD won Jehanabad seat defeating a JDU candidate.

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The voting percentage was low and at the same time, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) came together, he said. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also graced the event and said the BJP was a leader in spreading casteism.

The Sena editorials also attacked the BJP's electoral strategies, for which the party president Amit Shah has earned the title of modern day Chanakya. "So it's reality versus what you are promised", Tiwari said.

Yogi Adityanath and BJP came to power in the state in 2017 on the back of a resounding win which saw SP and BSP confined to the sidelines. "There can be some contest on the ninth seat", a senior UP BJP leader said. He added that the saffron party was ready to fight with the alliance of SP-BSP-Congress if they chose to come together in future. The BJP candidates in the fray from UP are Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Ashok Bajpai, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, Sakal Deep Rajbhar, Kanta Kardam, Anil Jain, Harnath Singh Yadav, GVL Narasimha Rao and Anil Kumar Agarwal. The BJP needs to do a lot at the grassroots level to win over the confidence of the farmers and workers, who constitute a vast majority of the electorate in the country.

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