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Chunav Flashback: When Vajpayee lost one election due to rumour by just 2,000 votes

Chunav Flashback: Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a deep connection with Balrampur. He reached Parliament in 1957 by winning the election from here on Jan Sangh ticket. But in the next election, he had to face defeat due to a rumour.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: April 19, 2024 14:50 IST
Chunav Flashback: Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost one election
Image Source : INDIA TV Chunav Flashback: Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost one election which he was winning due to a rumour

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee started his political career from Balrampur parliamentary seat of undivided Gonda. He had won the elections from Balrampur parliamentary seat in 1957 on Jan Sangh ticket. But due to a rumor in the 1962 Lok Sabha elections, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to face defeat. The rumour of booth looting in Utraula during voting and the murder due to tension between two groups spread such a sensation that frightened people did not come out of their homes to cast their votes. Due to this, Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost the election by 2000 votes. MORE ON ELECTION COVERAGE

Story of Balrampur elections of 1962

Veteran BJP worker Shambhu Prasad Gupta, recalling that incident, says that in 1957, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had contested elections for the first time from Balrampur Lok Sabha seat. He hoisted the flag of Bharatiya Jana Sangh by defeating Barrister Haider Hussain Rizvi of Congress. Jawaharlal Nehru had understood the talent of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a powerful orator who then became MP. He felt that it would be difficult to defeat Atal, hence he sent Subhadra Joshi to Balrampur to contest against Atal in the 1962 elections.

A day before the elections, there was tension between two groups near Bheli stop located in Kotwali Nagar area. One party had killed the youth of the other party by stabbing him with a knife.

People were scared of the rumour

Shambhu Prasad Gupta said that on election day, people from other parties came out to cast their votes in small numbers, which benefited Congress candidate Subhadra Joshi. During voting, a rumour also spread in the district that Congress people had captured many booths in Utraula. There was also a rumour that the police were beating non-Congress people visiting the booth with sticks. After this, most of the people who would have voted in favour of Atal did not come out of their homes. And hence, despite his popularity, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to face defeat by two thousand votes.

Atal's love for Balrampur continued even after losing election

The workers stood disappointed after receiving the news of Vajpayee's defeat. Then Atal Bihari Vajpayee said, "Do not be disappointed... I will contest the elections again and will win." After this, he also won the elections from there in the year 1967. Even after leaving the seat, his affection towards the people of this place remained.

'Conspiracies were hatched to defeat me'

Atal Bihari Vajpayee states in his autobiography Vichar Bindu says, "My defeat in the third Lok Sabha election was unexpected. I had taken good care of my Lok Sabha for 5 years after winning in 1957. I represented Balrampur effectively inside and outside the Parliament. Did." Being a member of the opposition, Atal Bihari had strongly criticised the Nehru government. As the spokesperson of Jan Sangh, he established a distinct identity for the party. Vajpayee had written, "The opponents were upset with the growing influence of the Jan Sangh Party and they conspired to defeat me."

Atal ji alleged that after support from the senior Congress leadership, the attitude of the Congressmen of Balrampur became aggressive, they had no dearth of resources. According to Atal Bihari's autobiography, "Tactics were adopted to influence the elections by intimidating and threatening the district and local officials of Delhi. Apart from this, an appeal was also made to the Brahmins in support of the Congress." Atal ji said that Jan Sangh voters started being intimidated and sent home from the voting station on the day of voting. The aim of Congress was to stop voting in some areas. The voters who went home out of fear did not return to the polling booth.

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