Meanwhile, the opposition party's President, Rahul Gandhi congratulated the winning candidates and tweeted, saying "Congratulations to the winning candidates in today's by-election". It is very clear, while looking at the performance of the BJP in 2014 and 2017, that it was the systematic fracturing of the non-BJP votes that worked in their favour. "As far as, Congress is concerned, we are committed to re-building the party in UP, and it does not happen overnight". The victory of SP candidates Nagendra Singh Patel in Phulpur and newcomer Prabin Kumar Nishad in Gorakhpur has proved that a lot of water has flown down the Ganga since the BJP swept the polls previous year. Its candidate Pravin Nishad was leading over Upendra Dutt Shukla of BJP by 26,510 votes in Gorakhpur at the end of 17th round of counting.
In Gorakhpur, Mahesh Ram, a supervisor in a co-agent bank and extremist Mayawati supporter trusts that the informed Dalits changed their votes to the SP with no wavering. In fact, the alliance helped the BJP to register massive success. "We will analyse and work on the places where we lacked and will work harder and perform better in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections".
UP CM Yogi Adityanath also made a similar statement later that the BJP was over-confident and didn't anticipate the challenge that the SP-BSP alliance posed.
It is of huge political significance that the morale-boosting victory for the Opposition comes just hours after leaders of 20 parties met at Sonia Gandhi's residence to draw up a blueprint for the 2019 elections.
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP leaders admitted the party was still reliant on th ppeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to win elections. Will SP's vote base elect BSP candidates? Even if the BJP's defeat is not the direct result of this omission, it is bound to tighten Modi's grip over the party.
In 2014, the BJP stunningly won 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats while one of its allies secured two. Did Congress hope to provide some nuisance value to SP and BSP, so that it could bargain hard for more Lok Sabha seats in 2019? The Samajwadi Party-BSP win, a throwback to 1993 mandate post Mandal, when the two parties came to form the first Government in UP, is bound to give a big scare to the BJP and its political strategists. That Adityanath, an icon in the Gorakhpur region for the last 25 years, should lose his home constituency that he has won for five consecutive terms - and that too only a year after BJP's 325-seat assembly "sweep" -is no small message coming from the UP bypolls.
"When the candidates were declared, the SP, BSP and Congress were not together...they had not joined hands then".
Arguing that the central theme of the results was disenchantment with the BJP, the Congress leaders said this would automatically alter the national political dynamics and empower the demoralised opposition forces.
In Jehanabad assembly constituency, Suday Yadav of the RJD defeated JD-U's Abhiram Sharma by 35,036 votes while BJP's Rinki Pandey scored over Sambhu Patel of the Congress, an RJD ally, by 15,000 votes in Bhabua assembly constituency. The Congress and BSP drew a blank. Yet, the RJD retained the seat with a comfortable margin of almost 62,000 votes.