Gorakhpur, Phulpur & Araria Result: Writing is on the Wall for BJP

What do the losses in Gorakhpur, Araria and Phulpur bypolls mean for the BJP?

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Gorakhpur, Araria and Phulpur – three Lok Sabha seats and three losses for the Bhartiya Janta Party. What does this mean for the saffron party?

Hindutva Agenda Dented?

The BJP has not lost a single Lok Sabha election in Gorakhpur since 1991. Yogi Adityanath’s former Lok Sabha seat is also home to the Gorakhnath Mutt, where the CM was once a Mahant. The temple wields considerable influence on this area and has played a major role in the previous elections – making this bypoll loss a heavy one for the BJP.

The first conclusion that can be drawn from this result is that people are no longer buying the Hindutva narrative. In fact, they appear to be irritated by this narrative. Over the last year, the Hindutva agenda has been pushed to such an extent that the probability of course correction has diminished. So we may draw the conclusion that the anger and discontent among the people will only increase.

Conclusions From Araria Bypoll Verdict

Araria has been a laboratory of BJP’s secondary strategy – counter-polarisation. Muslims make up 40 percent of the regions population, and along with the Yadav community, they account for over half the population in the area – leading one to assume that the RJD would be the favourite to win this seat.

The BJP attempted to consolidate the non-Muslim voters in their favour by peddling the narrative that non-Muslims need to come together to counter the Muslim community – a strategy that has brought them success in Rampur, Saharanpur and Muradabad. While this failed, the loss of Araria also proves that even the so-called ‘invincible’ Modi-Nitish combine was unable to keep the BJP afloat in Bihar.

No Good News From Phulpur Either

Just take a moment to comprehend this, BJP suffered a loss of 13 percent of their votes in Phulpur in 2018. If this is an indication of changing trends, then the BJP is in for a spate of bad luck in North India.

These polls hold three major messages for the BJP. First, that Hindutva has become stale for the voters. Second, that the voters have begun to see through the strategy of counter polarisation. And third, that the BJP is losing the advantage of ‘Modi wave’ and that even old allies like Nitish Kumar can’t help the saffron party retain its sheen – at least in some areas.

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