Shivan and Dwivedi. The results of the by-elections held in three Lok Sabha seats and seven seats in the assembly have been declared. These include two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Punjab, while by-elections were also held for seven seats in the assembly in Delhi, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. There is a BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and Tripura. In these two states, by-elections were also held with the maximum number of seats. The BJP has been successful in the by-elections of these two states. The BJP has won both Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and three of the four assembly seats in Tripura. This bodes well for the BJP from the point of view of the elections to the Tripura assembly next year. The elections were also held in a seat of the Andhra Pradesh assembly, where the YSR Congress has won. At the same time, the seat of the Rajendra Nagar assembly of Delhi came in the AAP bag.
Lok Sabha by-elections: In these by-elections, the special eye of the people was on Azamgarh and Rampur, two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, these two seats occupied the part of the Samajwadi Party. There was the perception that these two seats are not easy for the BJP. But the BJP’s victory in those two seats in the by-election results proved this notion wrong. By the way, the BJP’s path to Uttar Pradesh has not been easy from the point of view of by-elections. In 2018, when by-elections were held in seats deemed safe for the BJP like Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the party lost there. The results of this era have also changed perceptions about the BJP with respect to by-elections. Now the BJP can win by-elections even in the seats it has lost.
Speaking of Azamgarh, in 2014 Mulayam Singh Yadav was elected as a member of the Lok Sabha and in 2019, Akhilesh Yadav won as a joint candidate of the SP-BSP alliance. That is, the Mulayam Singh family represented Azamgarh Lok Sabha for two consecutive terms. It was on this basis that the impression was also formed that this seat is a stronghold of the Samajwadi party family. Perhaps that is why this time the Samajwadi Party has also challenged the election of Dharmed Yadav, a member of the Yadav clan. But this time the issue was reversed and BJP candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirhua defeated Dharmendra Yadav.
Azamgarh is a quadrangular faction seat of Dalit, Muslim, Yadav and other caste voters. It has never been a traditional party seat. The seat of Azamgarh Lok Sabha has been changing its behavior according to the circumstances. It should be noted that in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, when the BJP had to be satisfied with only 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh, at that time that seat went to the BJP’s account. Ramakant Yadav won the election with the BJP ticket with 35 percent of the vote. In 2004, Ramakant Yadav himself won the Azamgarh election with a BSP ticket. In 2014, BJP again gave the ticket to Ramakant Yadav, but lost the election to Mulayam Singh Yadav. By the way, the difference between the two votes was only 6.5 percent. In the 2019 elections, Akhilesh Yadav was unable to get 59 percent of the vote as the SP candidate, but he got so many votes due to the joint transfer of SP-BSP votes. In 2019 also BJP got 35 per cent of the votes in Azamgarh. It would be hypothetical to say so, but the possibility cannot be ruled out that if the SP-BSP did not run in the joint elections in 2019, the path would also be difficult for Akhilesh Yadav. The BJP voter was united and remains so today. This is the reason that in the triangular contest of by-elections, the BJP is overwhelming the SP.
It is not logical to say that the BSP has hurt the SP with Guddu Jamali for Azamgarh. Political parties present their candidates in the electoral struggle. It is their right to participate in elections. BSP has fought hard in the Azamgarh by-elections. There is a difference of only 4.9 percent of votes between BSP and SP candidates. In this situation, it is beyond logic to see BSP in the role of “vote katwa”.
On the other hand, the Samajwadi party has also faced defeat at the seat of Rampur, which is considered the bastion of Azam Khan. The BJP had won by now in the 2014 elections. It is interesting to know that in 2014, BSP, SP and Congress had made the quadrangular fight by presenting candidates from the seat of Rampur, even then the BJP won. This time, even when the BSP and Congress did not field candidates, the BJP has won. In 2019 too, as a joint SP-BSP candidate, Azam could win the election by a margin of just 10 percent.
The election results of these two seats can be analyzed from many perspectives. One fact that deserves special attention is that the vehicle of democracy cannot be driven by traditional instruments of politics. A vibrant feeling is emerging in the minds of the people against the dynasty. That is why he likes Smriti Irani instead of Rahul Gandhi. People want Dinesh Lal Yadav instead of Dharmendra Yadav.
The problem with family-centered parties like Congress, the SP and the BSP is that “they feel the darkness themselves by sinking their heads into the sand and are determined to get others to do the same.” The facts are contrary to the reaction of parties like SP and Congress after the announcement of the Agneepath scheme before the polls. In just three days, more than 56,000 applications were received from across the country after the Indian Air Force started registration for recruitment in the Agneepath program. This means that the attractiveness of this scheme among young people remains intact. But the provocative response given by the SP Congress without touching the minds of young people on this plan shows their political immaturity. In a democracy, the experience of communicating with the people, understanding the minds of the people, the leadership of the SP-Congress is in a position without direction on these issues. This lack of direction is the main reason for his political failure.
The results of the by-elections of Sangrur, a seat that became vacant after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann resigned from his Lok Sabha, are shocking. There are two valid reasons to describe this election result as “shocking.” Since the Aam Aadmi Party won the assembly elections in Punjab with a large majority just three months ago, Bhagwant Mann was elected deputy from that seat twice before becoming prime minister. Naturally, it was believed that the Aam Aadmi Party would save the seat of Sangrur Lok Sabha which had become vacant after he became the Prime Minister. But the election results turned out to be the opposite. Aam Aadmi party candidate Gurmel Singh lost to Shiromani candidate Akali Dal (Amritsar), Simran Jeet Singh Mann. With this, the presence of the Aam Aadmi Party has disappeared in the Lok Sabha.
The other side of this election result is worrisome. It is also being analyzed from different angles. In fact, since the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in the Punjab, questions have arisen about security and law and order in the state. The assassination of singer Sidhu Musewala sparked Punjab politics shortly after the government of Punjab’s Bhagwant Mann withdrew the security of more than 250 people. The security policy of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab has also been at the center of criticism due to other incidents that have come to the fore after that. It is believed that after the assassination of Musewala, the result of the anger of the Aam Aadmi party among the youth has been shown in these elections. Well, that can only be one reason. Apart from this, there are other factors that are the elements causing the change of situation in Sangrur.
The Punjab is a sensitive state from a security standpoint. Conservative structures of extremist beliefs still maintain political interference in the Punjab. The statement made by Shiromani MP Akali Dal (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann after his victory is worrying for the future of the country, including the Punjab. Newly elected MP Simranjit Singh Mann said: “This is a victory for the training of our workers and St. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.” There is nothing surprising in this statement, but there is something to worry about. It should be noted that in 1984, Simranjit Singh Mann himself had resigned from his job as a police officer in protest against sending the army to liberate the Golden Temple of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his terrorist associates. Therefore, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about their ideology.
In discussions about this election result, a side is also emerging that the Aam Aadmi Sangrur party is “lost” or “allowed to lose”. It should be noted that Bhagwant Mann’s stature may be reduced by Sangrur’s defeat, but it will not have a direct impact on Arvind Kejriwal’s stature. Second, there is no opposition to ‘Khalistan’ extremist ideas in Kejriwal politics. In this situation, there is also the possibility that this seat has been ceded by the Aam Aadmi Party as a “return gift” of victory in Punjab because of its sympathetic image of extremist groups in Punjab. This defeat may be reducing Kejriwal’s only seat, but it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm to Punjab politics at the moment. (Siddhi)
[सीनियर फेलो, श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी रिसर्च फाउंडेशन]
Edited by: Sanjay Pokhriyal