New Delhi: The opposition today wrested Kairana from the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where the parliamentary by-poll became a massive battle for pride in an election year leading up to the 2019 national polls.
- BJP trails in the Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh
- RLD's Tabassum Hasan is also backed by Congress and SP in Kairana
- Kairana bypoll is being seen as another test for opposition unity
Tabassum Hasan, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate, won against her BJP rival Mriganka Singh.
Ms Hasan, a former lawmaker, was supported by the Congress and Samajwadi Party; she also claimed the support of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The by-poll was pitched as another test of opposition unity against the BJP after the Samajwadi Party and BSP pooled their resources to defeat the ruling party in its strongholds Gorakhpur and Phulpur in March.
The opposition hopes to evolve a successful template for joining forces to take on the BJP in state elections later this year and the 2019 national polls.
By-polls were held in Kairana because of the death of Mriganka Singh's father, BJP parliamentarian Hukum Singh, in February.
In the Noorpur Assembly seat, which was also left vacant after the death of a BJP legislator in a road accident, the Samajwadi Party has won.
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav said the opposition's win in Kairana and Noorpur was a win for the farmers, the neglected, the poor and the Dalits. He also thanked all opposition parties for coming together and ensuring the win in the bypolls. "Farmers were told their loans would be waived, but they lost lives instead. Voters made it a point to bear whatever the circumstances to come out just to teach a lesson to the BJP. I also thank all other political leaders who came together and stood together to ensure that we win," he said.
Voting in both Kairana and Noorpur was hit by complaints of snags in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPATs or or Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines that produces slips to confirm to the voter that his choice has been recorded correctly. Repolling was held at 73 polling stations in Kairana yesterday.