New Delhi, Jun 1: The Janata Dal (United), which is an ally of Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre and in Bihar, blamed rising prices of petrol and diesel for the alliance’s defeats in by-elections, the counting for which was held on Thursday. “Rising price of petrol and diesel mainly angered people that led to our defeat in Jokihat and NDA elsewhere,” JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav wrested the Jokihat Assembly seat from the ruling JD-U in Bihar. Of the nine other Assembly seats that went to bypolls on May 28, the BJP scored just one in Uttarakhand’s Tharali, while the Congress won Punjab’s Shahkot, Karnataka’s RR Nagar, Maharashtra’s Palus Kadegaon and Meghalaya’s Ampati. JMM won two seats in Jharkhand and CPM bagged Kerala’s Chengannur. TMC retained West Bengal’s Maheshtala and Samajwadi Party (SP) wrested Uttar Pradesh’s Noorpur.

Besides, the BJP lost Kairana Lok Sabha by-election in Uttar Pradesh and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra while the saffron party managed to retain the Palghar parliamentary seat. Tyagi said the BJP-led Centre should take measures to control and check the price hike which is “directly impacting rural economy and common man”. He said the BJP “should go for more coordination and meetings with its allies before taking any decision”. The JD-U is an ally of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, besides operating an alliance in the state.

Another BJP ally Lok Janata Party also said that rising prices of petrol and diesel is bad sign and main cause behind growing anger among people. LJP state president Pasupati Kumar Paras, who is also a minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, said the BJP should take spiralling price hike seriously. Two months ago that RJD had defeated JD-U in bypolls to Jehanabad assembly seat and the Araria Lok Sabha seat.