New Delhi, May 21: The tally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lok Sabha has dropped to 272 following the resignations of BS Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu, who vacated their parliamentary constituencies after winning the respective assembly seats of Shikaripura and Molakalmuru in the recently contested elections in Karnataka.
While Yeddyurappa represented the Shimoga constituency in the Parliament, Sriramulu was elected from Bellary. The two leaders led a high-octane campaign for the BJP in the state. Although the party's tally increased from 40 seats to 104 in the Karnataka assembly, it fall short by 8 legislators in the 222-member Karnataka assembly.
Meanwhile, concern looms over the BJP at the Centre as it has dropped to the half-way mark in 542-member Lok Sabha. Although there is no threat to the NDA regime, which enjoys support from a total of 314 MPs, there stands a possibility that the BJP may not enjoy the single-party majority status till the conclusion of its current tenure.
If the party ends up losing the bypolls to Shimoga and Bellary - the dates for which would be announced later by the Election Commission - it may end up slipping below the halfway mark.
Meanwhile, the BJP faces a litmus test on May 28, when four Lok Sabha seats are up for grabs. The party may revive its tally to 275 if it ends up winning the seats of Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, along with Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia in Maharashtra. The fourth seat of Nagaland will be contested by its ally NDPP.
Data reveals the BJP has lost seven Lok Sabha bypolls so far, in the past four years. The most prominent defeats came in March, when the BJP lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the seats last represented by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.