New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured another five-year term after winning a landslide general election victory with the BJP bagging 303 seats on its own but despite a wave in his favour, six of his ministers lost their seats.
The ministers who lost the elections are – Manoj Sinha, Hansraj Ahir, Hardeep Singh Puri, Pon Radhakrishnan, K. J. Alphons and Ananth Geete (Shiv Sena).
Sinha, who was Telecom Minister in the Modi government, lost to Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Afzal Ansari, the brother of don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari by a margin of 1,19,392 votes in Ghazipur.
Ansari, who was the joint candidate of the ‘mahagathbandhan’ (Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance), garnered 5,66,082 while Sinha got 4,46,690 votes.
Sinha’s defeat came as a major shock for the BJP leaders as he had done a lot of development work in his area and was decribed as “vikash purush” by his supporters and sympathisers. He had won this seat in 2014 by a margin of 32,452 votes.
Ex-diplomat Puri, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs in the outgoing cabinet, lost from Punjab’s Amritsar to Congress’ Gurjeet Singh Aujla by a margin of 99,626 votes.
Puri got 3,45,406 votes while Aujla got 4,45,032 votes. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had fielded its senior leader Arun Jaitley but he also failed to take advantage of the “Modi wave”. Jaitley had lost to Punjab’s former Chief Minister (now Chief Minister) Captain Amarinder Singh in Amritsar by a whooping margin of more than one lakh votes.
Alphons, a Minister of State for Tourism, came third in Kerala’s Ernakulam. The seat was won by Congress’s Hibi Eden. Eden got 4,91,263 votes and defeated CPI-M’s P. Rajeev by 1,69,153 votes. Rajeev got 1,37,749 votes.
Both Puri and Alphons are members of Rajya Sabha.
Another minister in the Modi government Hansraj Ahir suffered a setback in Chandrapur. He lost to Balu Dhanorkar of the Congress by a margin of 44,763 votes. Ahir was Minister of State for Home in the Modi government. Dhanorkar got 5,59,507 votes while Ahir got 5,14,744 votes.
Union Minister Radhakrishnan also faced a crushing defeat by 2,59,933 votes from Kaniyakumari against Congress candidate and millionaire businessman H. Vasanthakumar.
Vasanthakumar, who owns a popular consumer durables retail chain in Tamil Nadu, had declared a total asset of Rs 412 crore in his nomination papers. He got 6,27,235 as against Radhakrishnan’s 3,67,302.
Union Heavy Industries Minister Ananth Geete, who represented Raigad constituency in Maharashtra since 2009, faced a defeat against NCP’s Sunil Dattatray Tatkare by a margin of 31,438 votes. Geete got 4,55,530 votes and Tatkare garnered 4,86,968 votes. Geete is a senior leader of Shiv Sena.
Besides these ministers there were some prominent faces of the BJP who could not make it to the 17th Lok Sabha. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra and actress-turned politician Jaya Prada lost their elections from Puri in Odisha and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, respectively.
Patra lost a neck-and-neck battle in Puri against BJD’s sitting MP Pinaki Mishra. Patra got 5,26,607 votes against Mishra’s 5,38,321 votes, losing by a margin of 11,714 votes.
Jaya Prada lost a bitterly fought election against Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan by 1,09,997 votes. She got 4,49,180 votes while Khan got 5,59,177.
Among 71 ministers in the outgoing Modi Cabinet, 47 contested the polls and 41 of them won.
BJP President Amit Shah won comfortably from Gandhinagar, Smriti Irani defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, and Ravi Shankar Prasad defeated actor-turned politician and former BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar.
All three leaders were Rajya Sabha members till the polls.