Varun rant, Modi fail to jack up BJP fortunes
- Sports court tears Narsingh Yadav defence, NADA’s credibility
- Ramya on sedition case: Will not apologise for my Pakistan remark, said nothing wrong
- I can't fight against the government or AFI, but I know the truth: OP Jaisha
- From Rajasthan to Bihar: Tracking floods in north India
- Kashmir unrest: Curfew lifted from parts of Srinagar
For a party nursing an aspiration for the Prime Minister's chair, Saturday was doomsday.
From 10.30 am, as news started to drift in of one candidate after another biting the dust, partymen began to desert the office. Both BJP ki lehar slogan and the Varun factor failed to work the wonders. And the star power of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi found few takers.
Of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in which Modi campaigned, the party managed a victory only in three — Agra and Meerut, where the BJP garnered victory and Amroha, from where ally Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Devendra Nagpal won.
The news went from grim to grimmer — with six-time parliamentarian from Bareilly Santosh Gangwar, five-time MP from Maharajganj Pankaj Malik and the party's national general secretary Vinay Katiyar from Ambedkar Nagar, all suffering defeat. In Bulandshahr, party veteran Ashok Pradhan lost as well.
Even news of Lalji Tandon's victory in Lucknow, Varun Gandhi's victory margin of over 2 lakh votes in Pilibhit, Murli Manohar Joshi's win in Varanasi and Rajnath Singh's win in Ghaziabad failed to lift the gloom.
The resounding defeat in Pilibhit's neighbourhood Bareilly proved that the Varun factor had actually helped seal the party's fate outside that constituency.
In Aonla, Varun's mother Maneka Gandhi barely managed to scrape through. Till noon, senior office-bearers avoided the media. After 2 pm, they finally accepted the people's mandate has been against them.
Still, party's state president Ramapati Ram Tripathi pointed out: "It cannot be denied that we have gained in Uttar Pradesh and voters have preferred national parties over regional ones."
Having made tall claims of touching a 40-plus tally in the state, Tripathi was at a loss when asked to comment on the party's not managing to retain even its traditional seats — Maharajganj, Bareilly and Bulandshahar.
- Tension between the executive and judiciary could play out in creative, or destructive, ways
- Mental Health Bill tries to address complex issues, but it’s a work in progress
- Modi’s recent statements could help end the troubled region’s long international isolation
- Divya Spandana: Pakistan is no hell, I stand by my remarks
- The freedom from unreason
- Cow protection, paradoxically, poses a threat to the BJP’s project of Hindu unity