- The bypoll was viewed as a test of opposition unity
- Meeting happened against backdrop of dissenting voices from within
- BJP had won 71 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014
The by-poll was viewed as a test of unity for parties aiming at challenging the BJP in the 2019 national polls.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of dissenting voices from within, including some MPs and legislators, over the functioning of the state government. However, insiders said that their carping is not against the chief minister. "They may be hoping for a ministerial position and so was the public posturing," said a senior party leader.
State minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, an ally of the BJP in UP, said today that the by-poll defeat was the result of anger because the BJP did not make Keshav Prasad Maurya Chief Minister last year. Mr Maurya is Yogi Adityanath's deputy.
"BJP contested the state election with Maurya as its face. Backwards supported the BJP in the hope that Maurya will become Chief Minister. The result of this anger is reflected in the defeat of the BJP in bypolls," said Mr Rajbhar, adding that the BJP "should introspect about the reasons for its defeat".
The BJP had last month lost Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly bypolls. Earlier, it had lost parliamentary bypolls in Gorakhpur, the home base of Yogi Adityanath, and Phulpur, the constituency vacated by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Amit Shah had recently said that his party is working to grab 50 per cent vote share in the state to weaken any united opposition challenge.
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