BJP wins big in UP: Defeats SP in Azam Khan’s Rampur, ahead in Akhilesh’s Azamgarh

In Rampur, BJP had deployed over 16 ministers for canvassing and management of the elections-related party activities

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath hailed the victory in by-polls saying it was an optimistic message regarding 2024 general elections and that people have shown their trust in double-engine government under PM Modi | Photo for Representational Purposes Only

In a setback for the Samajwadi Party, BJP candidate Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi won the SP leader Azam Khan’s stronghold of Rampur by defeating SP nominee and Khan’s long-time associate Asim Raja by a margin of over 42,000 votes in the Lok Sabha by-elections.

But even a bigger jolt for SP seems to be coming from Azamgarh, the second Lok Sabha seat that went to the by-polls on June 23. BJP candidate Dinesh Lal Yadav ‘Nirahua’ is ahead in Azamgarh by over 11,000 votes till the last reports came in. Azamgarh seat was vacated by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav when he opted for assembly after winning in 2022 state polls.

Even as the poll panel has not announced Azamgarh result so far, BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav posted a video on Instagram saying that he is on his way to Azamgarh. He captioned the video ‘Azamgarh ka sevak’. In the video, he can be seen seeking blessings from his mother.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath also spoke to the media and said: “Victory in by-polls have sent an optimistic message regarding 2024 general elections. People have shown their trust in double-engine government under PM Modi. People have given a clear message to ‘parivarvadis’, casteist and communalist elements.”


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Lodhi got over 3.67 lakh votes whereas Asim Raja won around 3.23 lakh votes. NOTA was next with 4,447 votes. The BSP did not contest the Rampur by-poll and that helped the BJP with shifting Dalit votes.

SP leader blames BJP

SP’s Rampur district president Virendra Goyal alleged the ruling BJP misused its power to win the seat. “The BJP candidate has been declared the winner. But the administration has done something wrong in counting. Earlier, voter’s turnout on polling day remained low because the administration did not allow SP voters to come out to vote,” said Goyal.

The by-election in the Rampur Lok Sabha seat was necessitated following the resignation of Azam Khan after his election to UP Vidhan Sabha from Rampur Sadar. Azam had won from Rampur in the Lok Sabha election in 2019 when the SP had an alliance with the BSP and the RLD.

Lodhi, from SP to BJP

Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who is an OBC, is a former SP MLC who had started his political career with the BJP but he switched sides later. He had contested the Lok Sabha elections from Rampur as a BSP candidate in 2009 but finished third. He was elected a member of the UP Legislative Council from the Rampur-Bareilly local authorities’ constituency in 2016 as an SP candidate. His term expired in March this year.

During the assembly polls, he had joined the BJP in Lucknow in January this year. In Rampur, BJP had deployed over 16 ministers for canvassing and management of the elections-related party activities. On the other hand, SP had left the responsibility of Rampur to Azam Khan.

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The SP had focused more on canvassing in Azamgarh where the bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of party national president Akhilesh Yadav. Counting was in progress in Azamgarh and the BJP was leading thee with a margin of over 11,000 votes.