Praveen Nishad, the giant killer who dealt a massive defeat to the BJP in its stronghold Gorakhpur last year, is now a BJP lawmaker. Last year, the former Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party candidate had surprisingly joined the BJP. He was nominated from neighbouring Sant Kabir Nagar and has won today as his party swept the elections across the country.
Mr Nishad's stunning victory in 2018 had laid the foundation for the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The two rivals came together to defeat the BJP in the state but miserably failed as the party went to win 63 out the 80 states.
Mr Nishad had switched sides ahead the polls and joined the party he defeated a year before. He was rewarded with a nomination from the neighbouring constituency. His Gorakhpur seat went to Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishan, who also won from the BJP stronghold.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP is headed for a victory bigger than in 2014 - a 300-plus figure the BJP reached as a single largest party. The BJP keeps its core states - the Hindi heartland, Gujarat and Maharashtra - while posting fresh victories in Bengal, Odisha and the northeast. It has also scored a huge win in Karnataka - a state the Congress rules jointly with HD Kumaraswamy.
"Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again! #VijayiBharat," PM Modi tweeted. Rahul Gandhi congratulated the Prime Minister, saying "We report to the people".
BJP President Amit Shah called the win the country's victory.
Amit Shah tweeted: "This victory is India's victory. This is the victory of the hopes of youths, the poor, and farmers. This massive win is the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development and the people's trust in him. On the behalf of crores of BJP workers, I congratulate Narendra Modi."