Lok Sabha Elections 2024: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) witnessed a significant setback in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. While Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma emerged as the ‘giant-slayer’ by defeating BJP’s Smriti Irani, the saffron party also suffered a defeat in the Lok Sabha constituency that houses Ayodhya. What is further interesting to note is that BJP also suffered a loss in Sitapur, a quaint town only 200 kilometres away from Ayodhya.

What’s more, Congress leader Rajesh Rathore won in Sitapur. However, according to a Times of India report, the locals didn’t recall knowing Rajesh Rathore until before the elections. 

In Sitapur, Congress leader Rajesh Rathore defeated veteran Rajesh Verma, a BJP leader. Verma had been winning the Sitapur seat for Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and then for BJP for years. 

While BSP failed to open an account in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, BJP suffered a loss by winning only 33 seats, as opposed to Akhilesh Yadav helmed Samajwadi Party (SP) ‘s 37 Lok Sabha seats. 

Uttar Pradesh Congress also won 6 Lok Sabha seats, including Raebareli and Amethi. 

INDIA bloc seat-sharing for Sitapur

Sitapur was first earmarked for Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) in the INDIA (Indian National Democratic Alliance) bloc seat-sharing arrangement. According to reports, Akhilesh Yadav had wanted to field six-term former MLA Narendra Verma. 

However, Narendra Verma refused the ticket, citing health reasons. 

Failing to find an alternative, the Samajwadi Party passed on the Lok Sabha constituency ticket for the INDIA bloc to the Congress. The Mallikarjun Kharge-led party immediately nominated former BSP minister Nakul Dubey as the Congress candidate for the Sitapur seat. However, Dubey returned the ticket only four days later. 

At this point, Congress was left with the Sitapur Lok Sabha constituency but no candidate. Congress then approached Rajesh Rathore, who immediately accepted the offer. Rajesh Rathore belongs to the lower OBC Teli community, which hardly has any presence in Sitapur, says ToI. 

Notably, right after Rathore rose to the occasion, OBCs and Dalits joined hands against the BJP and shifted gears, favouring the INDIA bloc.

Sitapur is one of several seats swayed towards the INDIA bloc, reflecting the consolidated stance of OBCs and Dalits against the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

Ram Mandir backfired on BJP?

While Narendra Modi never stated that the Ayodhya Ram Mandir Pran Pratistha ceremony was not a poll plank, it was understood to be a leverage the right-wing saffron party would use to garner votes for the general elections.

However, Ayodhya and its neighbouring Lok Sabha constituency residents have alleged that Narendra Modi and the BJP forgot about the locals in their ambitious project to construct the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

It’s worth noting that the BJP lost both Faizabad and Sitapur, among other obvious Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha constituencies.

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Published: 06 Jun 2024, 05:03 PM IST

Disclaimer: This report is auto-generated from other news portal services. Realtimeindia holds no responsibility for its content.