(EDs: With added inputs, quotes from Cong leaders) New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) The Congress today said people across the country, angered by the BJP’s “arrogance and misrule”, were “showing it the door”, as was amply proved by the by-election results in the states.
The Congress also claimed the BJP had “lost” its simple majority in the Lok Sabha. It said the BJP now had 271 members, minus the two rebel MPs, Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha.
However, according to the Lok Sabha secretariat, the BJP has 274 members and the party needs 272 MPs for a simple majority on its own.
Congratulating the winners of the Lok Sabha by-elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the outcomes showed that the people were angry with the BJP and would vote for any non-BJP candidate with the potential to win.
He also said the Congress was keen to rebuild the party in Uttar Pradesh but added it would “not happen overnight”.
The party’s candidates in the state lost their deposits in the recent by-polls to two Lok Sabha seats, the results of which were announced today. The Samajwadi Party defeated the BJP in the two constituencies.
“Congratulations to the winners of today’s by-elections. It is clear from the results that voters have a lot of anger towards the BJP and will vote for any non-BJP candidate who has more chances of winning.
“The Congress is keen on rebuilding the party in Uttar Pradesh, but that will not happen overnight,” he tweeted in Hindi.
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the BJP had lost 10 Lok Sabha by-elections in 2017 and 2018.
“In May 2014, the BJP won 282 Lok Sabha seats. In four years, BJP government is down to 271, losing its simple majority in Lok Sabha minus its allies – considering the fact that PM Modi has suspended Kirti Azad and virtually disowned their most truthful, fiercely independent Patna Sahib MP,” Surjewala tweeted.
The BJP’s “2017-18 report card … is 0/10 – BJP lost all 10 Lok Sabha by-elections in 2017 and 2018”, he said.
“By-Poll results have given a clear message that people are angry with BJP for its arrogance and misrule,” he added.
In another tweet, he named the 10 Lok Sabha seats — Amritsar, Srinagar, Malappuram, Gurdaspur, Ajmer, Alwar, Uluberia, Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Araria.
“By-poll results have given clear message that people are angry with BJP for its arrogance and misrule,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Jyotiraditya Scindia said the results of the by-polls clearly indicated that across the country, people had spoken out against the “anti-farmer” rule of the Central government.
He said people had also testified against the BJP government’s “anti-youth policies”, “anti-women rule” and “unemployment that is rampant”.
“It is very clear that the people of our great country are showing this BJP government the door,’ he told reporters outside Parliament.
Congress general secretary Mohan Prakash said the BJP was facing anti-incumbency sentiments in all states as it was doing exactly the opposite of what it had promised.
“People are now waiting for the 2019 general elections to teach the BJP a lesson,” he said.
The Samajwadi Party today won the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat and the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats, constituencies vacated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, respectively.
The Bahujan Samaj Party gave its support to the SP in the two seats while the Congress put up its own candidates, who lost their deposits.
The BJP also lost the Araria Lok Sabha by-election to the RJD.
In the two assembly by-polls in Bihar, the RJD won the Jehanabad Assembly seat while the BJP bagged the Bhabhua Assembly seat.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.