Shocking defeats: BJP's Smriti Irani, Ajay Teni, and Lallu Singh ousted

BJP's loss in Amethi, Lakhimpur Kheri and Ayodhya is being viewed as rejection against arrogance and a mindset to alter the Constitution

Former union minister Smriti Irani, who was the MP from Amethi (file photo)
Former union minister Smriti Irani, who was the MP from Amethi (file photo)

NH Political Bureau

In what is being described as a classic David vs Goliath face-off, the India Bloc candidates achieved significant victories against several prominent figures of the ruling party.

Among the defeated were high-profile leaders such as the outspoken Union Minister Smriti Irani, Amit Shah’s confidant Minister Ajay Mishra Teni — whose son was allegedly involved in the tragic incident of mowing down protesting farmers — and Faizabad MP Lallu Singh, who controversially claimed that the BJP would change the constitution if it secured more than 400 seats in the elections.

Smriti Irani

The most astonishing defeat occurred in Amethi, where KL Sharma, a Gandhi family loyalist, triumphed over Union Minister Smriti Irani. Irani, who had previously gained fame as a giant killer by defeating Rahul Gandhi in the same constituency in 2019, faced an unexpected loss.

Sharma, a trusted aide of former Congress president Sonia Gandhi during her tenure as MP from Rae Bareli, secured a decisive victory, defeating Irani by a margin of 1.67 lakh votes. This result surprised many and marked a significant shift in the political landscape.

Ajay Mishra Teni

INDIA Bloc candidate Utkarsh Verma emerged as another giant killer in Lakhimpur Kheri, defeating BJP’s Ajay Mishra Teni, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs. Verma won with 5.57 lakh votes, surpassing Teni's 5.23 lakh votes, resulting in a victory margin of 34,000 votes. Verma, who previously served as an MLA from 2007 to 2012, demonstrated a strong comeback.

In the 2019 elections, Teni had secured the Kheri seat with 5.84 lakh votes, defeating Poorvi Verma of the SP-BSP alliance. Known as a strongman in the region, Teni has faced murder charges in the past but avoided conviction due to insufficient evidence, possibly influenced by his political clout. His abrasive relationship with the media and speculations about a lack of support from Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath are cited by some conspiracy theorists as contributing factors to his defeat.

Lallu Singh

In another major upset, the INDIA alliance captured the Faizabad constituency. BJP's two-time MP Lallu Singh, who had controversially claimed that the BJP would change the constitution if given enough power, was defeated by Awadhesh Prasad, the INDIA Bloc candidate from the Samajwadi Party (SP).

The Faizabad constituency is of immense significance as it includes the revered temple town of Ayodhya, where the historic Ram Mandir was inaugurated in January 2024. Awadhesh Prasad, a seasoned politician and nine-time MLA from the Sohawal (SC) constituency, secured this crucial victory.

The loss in Ayodhya was particularly impactful, sparking widespread surprise and prompting extensive analysis on social media regarding the BJP's performance in Uttar Pradesh.

Many discussed the implications of this defeat, considering it a critical reflection of shifting political dynamics in the state.

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