Although Wednesday’s by-election results did not give them anything to be happy about, Congress MPs appeared jubilant at the BJP’s defeat in three Lok Sabha seats, and used the opportunity to warn parties friendly to the BJP. In the backdrop of the TDP’s souring ties with BJP, and speculation on the prospect of a new alliance between the ruling party and YSR Congress, the opposition in TDP-governed Andhra Pradesh, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh warned Vijai Sai Reddy of YSR Congress in Rajya Sabha. “You saw the results in UP, Bihar…you keep them in mind. You should see the fortunes of BJP,” he told Reddy.
On a day when the BJP lost two Lok Sabha seats in UP, including CM Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur, many of its top leaders, ministers and chief ministers were mourning another loss, from another dimension. The only tweets of the day from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah were about the death of visionary physicist Stephen Hawking. At least 14 Cabinet Ministers, too, preferred to mourn Hawking, rather than their party’s loss. So did at least six BJP CMs — except Adityanath,who didn’t tweet on either of the losses.
Defeats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur may have shocked the BJP but did not distracted party leaders from scheduled work. The BJP in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday reviewed the party’s performance in recent cooperative bodies elections and expressed satisfaction over the results. Cooperative elections in-charge of all districts met BJP state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal, and Cooperative Minister Mukut Bihari Verma and state party general secretary Vidya Sagar Sonkar. The leaders highlighted that the party had recorded victory on around 80 per cent seats, and resolved to aim for more such victories.
While TDP MP Shivaprasad, who dresses differently every day to protest against the Union government for not granting special status to Andhra Pradesh, and entertains everyone inside and outside Parliament, the Opposition is not exactly laughing at the treatment he is apparently getting. According to some Opposition MPs, the Lok Sabha Speaker did not take any action or even issue a strong warning to Shivaprasad other party MPs protesting with big placards, while Congress MPs had been dismissed for disrupting House proceedings in the Monsoon Session. Shivaprasad, however, appears to be thoroughly enjoying the limelight — on Wednesday, he came dressed as a Christian priest, with the Bible in hand to complete the look!