Vanquished in Varanasi: BJP suffers embarrassing defeat in Modi’s bastion!

SP wins two out of three MLC seats in Varanasi, also ousts BJP candidate in Allahabad-Jhansi


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a humiliating defeat in Varanasi in the recently concluded Member of Legislative Council (MLC) elections. On December 1, elections were held for 11 seats; six teachers’ and five graduates’ constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. Though BJP won five of those seats, the fact that it lost in Varanasi has got to sting.

This is particularly humiliating also because Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Varanasi on the occasion of Dev Deepawali on November 30. Modi had inaugurated a six-lane widening project of the Varanasi – Prayagraj stretch of the NH-19. He had also offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple. But it looks like Modi’s magic may be waning.

BJP’s sitting MLC Kedarnath Singh was ousted by debutant Ashutosh Sinha of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the graduate seat with a reported margin of 3,850 votes. SP’s Lal Bihari Yadav bagged the teachers’ seat in Varanasi.

The defeat In Varanasi is also humiliating given how it comes close at the heels of the defeat in Nagpur. MLC elections were also held in Maharashtra recently and BJP lost in Nagpur that has been a stronghold of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for several decades. To add insult to injury, it was Congress that won the Nagpur seat. 

Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that the SP was anyway dominating the BJP in the upper house of the UP state legislature, where it had 52 seats as opposed to the BJP’s 19, even before the current election. This time the SP won three out of the total 11 seats; two in Varanasi and one in Allahabad-Jhansi. BJP won three of the teachers’ seats in Lucknow, Meerut and Bareilly-Moradabad, and two graduates’ seats in Agra and Meerut. Interestingly, it dethroned the SP in Agra.

This sets the ground for things to come. Panchayat elections are due in UP next year, and Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in 2022.


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