New Delhi/Lucknow/Mumbai/Patna, May 31 - Dealing a body blow to the ruling BJP, opposition parties today emerged victorious in 11 out of 14 bypolls while limiting the saffron party and its allies at just three and snatching the high-profile Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh with a united force.
With prestige at stake in every single bypoll in run-up to the 2019 general elections, the opposition leaders latched onto today�s results across 11 states to claim sliding popularity of the Narendra Modi-led government, even as the BJP asserted that the PM � which it described as �P� for performance and �M� for mehnat (hard work) � would decide the Lok Sabha polls next year.
However, opposition leaders saw a big boost for strengthening non-BJP unity with the ruling party losing Kairana Lok Sabha seat in the politically important UP to a united opposition after a communally-charged election campaign, while similar appeared the result for Bhandara-Gondiya LS constituency in Maharashtra.
The BJP retained another LS seat from Maharashtra,
Palghar, where it had faced a challenge from its own ally Shiv Sena, but the Opposition could not pose a united fight. BJP�s Rajendra Gavit won the seat defeating Shiv Sena�s Shrinivas Wanaga.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, however, alleged �discrepancies� in counting of votes for Palghar.
In Nagaland, the fourth LS seat for which bypoll was held, went to the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a BJP ally in the northeastern state.
While the LS bypoll results were equally divided at 2-2 between the BJP-led alliance and the opposition parties, figures for the 10 Assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could win just one (in Uttarakhand). The Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab) and others got six � JMM two in Jharkhand; CPI(M), SP, RJD and Trinamool one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively.
The Congress also won one Assembly seat in Maharashtra without contest after all other parties withdrew their candidates. � PTI