- Samajwadi Party faced major setback in Rampur, Azamgarh by-election
- SP lost both the seats to BJP in Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan's bations
- Reacting to the by-election results, Azam Khan questioned the authenticity of the polls
Rampur bypoll results: The Samajwadi Party on Sunday faced a major setback, losing the by-election to the Rampur parliamentary seat against BJP in Azam Khan's bation. BJP's Ghanshyam Lodhi won the Rampur seat with a margin of over 40,000 votes, defeating Asim Raja of the Samajwadi Party.
Key Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan reacted to the by-election results and questioned the authenticity of the polls.
Speaking to ANI, Azam Khan said, "You can't say it was election... neither election results... he asked how it can be possible that only 6 people voted in an area where there were 900 votes... and only 1 voted where there were 500 votes... that too when these regions have Muslim dominated population... What else I should say..."
Hitting out at the media, Azam Khan said that if they will be ignorant, act innocent knowing the reality, don't want to report anything... for singing government's chorus... and enjoy on their (govt's) money... then what's their more to say.
"Will you inform us or we should tell you... Are you a pillar of democracy or we the weak people," Azam Khan questioned.
SP loses by-election to Rampur, Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats
The BJP demolished two Samajwadi Party bastions by wresting the Rampur and Azamgarh parliamentary seats. The BJP won both seats in the by-elections.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said that the results were a seal of approval on his working and his government. He said that the results were a vindication of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies.
Rampur and Azamgarh have been considered as SP strongholds and this, being the first by elections after the March assembly elections, is a major blow to the party leadership.
Rampur and Azamgarh are the constituencies of SP's two tallest leaders -- Akhilesh Yadav and Mohd Azam Khan.
Azamgarh was earlier held by SP president Akhilesh Yadav and he had resigned after winning the assembly polls in March.
However, he did not campaign in Azamgarh and this raised several questions in political circles even though Akhilesh Yadav's cousin Dharmendra Yadav was the SP candidate.
He had also not allowed his estranged uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav to campaign in Azamgarh.
In Azamgarh, the BSP successfully engineered SP's defeat by fielding a Muslim candidate, Guddu Jamali, who walked away with over two lakh votes and allowed BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua to walk home victorious.
The SP defeat in Rampur is a personal setback for senior SP MLA Mohd Azam Khan who had worked relentlessly for the by-elections. The BJP got 52 per cent votes while SP had to remain content with 46 per cent votes.
"This is a victory that has been converted into defeat. People were not allowed to vote and I repeatedly said this on the polling day," he said.
The twin defeats are now indicative of Akhilesh Yadav's loosening grip on his vote bank since both the constituencies have a sizeable Muslim population.