When it comes to bypolls, 2018 has been BJP’s worst yearhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/when-it-comes-to-bypolls-2018-has-been-bjps-worst-year-5198991/

When it comes to bypolls, 2018 has been BJP’s worst year

The party held on to just 38 per cent of the seats that it had won earlier. The biggest gainer has been the Congress.

A boy plays with the party banner outside the BJP office in Nariman Point, Mumbai. (Source: Express archive/ photo by Nirmal Harindran)

In bypolls for Lok Sabha constituencies held after the 2014 elections, the BJP lost 8 out of 13 seats it had won earlier. And 2018 has been its worst year so far.

After the 2014 elections, bypolls have been held in 27 constituencies across the country. Of the 27 seats, the BJP had won 13 of them in the 2014 polls. However, it was able to hold on to only five of them in the subsequent bypolls, which amounts to 38 per cent of the seats it held.

(Illustration by Hemang Kumar)

The first year after coming to power, the BJP did not lose any seat it already held in a bypoll. However, it lost two seats — the Ratlam seat in Madhya Pradesh in 2015, and the Gurdaspur seat in Punjab in 2017 — to the Congress.

This year has been the worst so far for the BJP as opposition parties united against it. The party lost three seats in Uttar Pradesh: Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana. It lost two seats in Rajasthan: Ajmer and Alwar. However, it did manage to hold on to Palghar seat in Maharashtra, but lost the Bhandara-Gondiya seat to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

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(Illustration by Hemang Kumar)

The biggest gainers have been the Congress and Samajwadi Party. The Congress has won four seats where bypolls were held, while the Samajwadi Party won two. In Kairana, a Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate, backed by other opposition parties, won.

Regional parties like the Trinamool Congress have a better record. The Mamata Banerjee-led party managed to retain all four seats in West Bengal where bypolls were held. Other regional parties like Kerala’s IUML and Telangana Rashtra Samithi have also managed to hold on to seats despite bypolls.