BJP gets a drubbing in all five Lok Sabha seats of Ayodhya division - Hindustan Times
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BJP gets a drubbing in all five Lok Sabha seats of Ayodhya division

By, Lucknow
Jun 06, 2024 05:08 AM IST

SP’s strategy to field Dalit and OBC candidates from three non-reserved constituency of the division dealt a severe blow

The inauguration of Ram temple in Ayodhya earlier this year was considered one of the defining emotive issues of 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Yet it did not convert into electoral dividends for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the party lost all five Lok Sabha seats of Ayodhya division, including the Faizabad constituency.

The Ayodhya division comprises Faizabad, Amethi, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur and Barabanki districts. (For Representation)
The Ayodhya division comprises Faizabad, Amethi, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur and Barabanki districts. (For Representation)

The Ayodhya division comprises Faizabad, Amethi, Ambedkar Nagar, Sultanpur and Barabanki districts. BJP’s two-time sitting MP Lallu Singh suffered a defeat at the hands of Samajwadi Party (SP)’s Awadhesh Prasad in Faizabad constituency.

The defeat highlighted the success of the SP’s new caste calculus as the party’s strategy to field its prominent Dalit leader from a non-reserved constituency dealt a decisive blow to the BJP.

Awadhesh Prasad bagged 554,289 votes or 48.59 percent of the total votes cast as against Lallu Singh’s 499,722 (43.81 percent votes) and won the seat by 54,567. There is a furore among seers and other locals about the BJP’s loss in Ayodhya.

“The BJP candidate lost due to overconfidence. His ‘Jan Sampark Abhiyan’ was weak. On the contrary, the SP’s campaign was very strong. He thought that he would win in PM Modi’s name. He should have gone to the doors of people. The reason for the loss is the candidate himself. Estimated 35,000 votes which used to be cast were not cast this time,” Kalki Ram, president, Rama Dal Trust, said on the loss of Lallu Singh.

Two other shocking defeats for BJP are of Smriti Irani from Amethi and Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur. Maneka Gandhi lost to SP’s Ram Bhuwal Nishad by 43,174 votes. Nishad bagged 4,44,330 votes while Maneka Gandhi polled 4,01,156 votes.

The SP’s experiment with Dalit candidates in non-reserved seats of Faizabad and Sultanpur proved successful, said Prashant Trivedi, associate professor, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow.

Smriti Irani, who had defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Amethi in 2019 polls, lost to Gandhi family’s old loyalist Kishori Lal Sharma this time. Sharma bagged 5,39,228 votes (54.99 percent of total votes cast) as against Irani’s 3,72,032 (37.94 percent votes) and won the seat by a margin of 1,67,196 votes.

As per political observers, the BJP’s failure to strike the right Kamandal-Mandal balance was a crucial factor that hurt its chances of victory in two other Lok Sabha seats of Ayodhya division, including Ambedkar Nagar and Barabanki.

BSP MP Ritesh Pandey, who was made BJP candidate from Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat this time, lost to SP’s backward candidate Lalji Verma from the general seat.

Verma bagged 5,44,959 votes or 46.3 percent votes of total votes cast, while Pandey polled 4,07,712, which is around 34.64 percent votes, and won the seat by 1,37,247 votes.

Another Lok Sabha seat in the list is of Barabanki from where Congress leader Panna Lal Punia’s son Tanuj Punia won the seat as a Congress candidate from BJP’s Raj Rani Rawat. Punia bagged 7,19,927, which is around 55.78 precent votes, while Rawat got 5,04,223 votes, which is around 39.07 percent of vote share, and won the election by a huge margin of 2,15,704 votes. (With inputs from agencies)

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