NEW DELHI, Sept 16 � The BJP today suffered a major blow in the Assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the states it had swept in the Lok Sabha polls four months ago, losing 13 of the 24 seats held by it, reports PTI.
Considered yet another test of popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today�s reverses in the by-elections came after the party�s disappointing performance in the Assembly by-elections in Bihar, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh in the last two months.
Out of the 32 Assembly seats across nine states for which counting of votes was taken up today, the BJP won 10, Congress seven and Samajwadi Party seven, while the TDP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF and CPI(M) bagged one seat each. One seat in Sikkim was won by an Independent. In three seats in UP where results were awaited, the BJP was leading in two and Samajwadi Party in one.
It was Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP was on a high after a near-total sweep of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, that delivered a humiliating blow to the saffron party as it lost seven of the 11 seats held by it, including one held by its ally Apna Dal. The BSP�s absence in the by-elections had made it a virtual straight fight between the SP and BJP in the politically crucial state.
Equally crushing was the defeat in Rajasthan where the BJP conceded three of the four seats to the Congress, which also managed to wrest three of the nine seats in Gujarat, where the elections were held for the first time in 12 years sans Narendra Modi.
All the seats in Uttar Pradesh (11), Gujarat (9) and Rajasthan (4) were held by the BJP and the bypolls were necessitated after the MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha.
Gloating over the BJP�s reverses, the Congress and Samajwadi Party called it as a defeat of the communal forces. They said the people had rejected the Narendra Modi Government and BJP�s �politics of polarisation�.