BJP lost a crucial bypoll to Kairana Lok Sabha seat of Uttar Pradesh with Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Tabassum Hasan – the joint opposition candidate – winning by a sizeable margin over the BJP candidate. The by-polls to Kairana Lok Sabha seat was seen as a barometer of Opposition’s strength against the BJP, which had swept UP assembly polls last year.
Kairana seat was held by BJP strongman and jat leader Hukum Singh before his demise this year. The BJP had given ticket to his daughter Mriganka Singh.
The setback for the BJP continued in Noorpur assembly seat of Western UP too, where Samajwadi Party’s candidate won by over 6600 votes, wresting the seat from the BJP.
Maharashtra, meanwhile threw a mixed result for the ruling party, which won from Palghar Lok Sabha seat but lost Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat to Congress-NCP alliance.
In Palghar, BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won by defeating its Shiv Sena rival, which ironically is its junior partner in the state government coalition, by 29,574 votes. The by-election in Palghar was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga, while the Bhandara-Gondiya seat was vacated after BJP’s Nana Patole resigned from his party and joined Congress.
Congress candidate Vishwajeet Patangrao Kadam has been declared victorious, unopposed, from Palus Kadegaon assembly seat.
Karnataka, which saw a high-octane battle between the Congress-JDS and the BJP to form the government, gave a cheer to Congress which won the Rajrajeshwari Nagar assembly seat by over 25,000 votes. The polls on this seat were postponed following a controversy over the recovery of nearly ten thousand voter ID cards from a flat just days before the polling.
Tharali of Uttarakhand was the lone assembly seat won by the BJP, which managed to retain the seat by a small margin of 1900 votes as per the reports. Maganlal Shah of the BJP, whose death earlier this year necessitated the bypolls, had won in 2017 defeating Congress’ Jeetram.
The Congress continued with its strong run in Punjab where it won Shahkot seat by a huge margin of over 38,000 votes. Akali Dali, BJP’s state and national ally, had won the seat in 2017 Assembly polls. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Akali MLA Ajit Singh Kohar in February this year.
The Punjab by-poll, however, may also be studied as a huge setback for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan, who appeared to be out of the contest way behind in the vote count.
Congress candidate and daughter of former chief minister Mukul Sangma, Miani D Shira won the Ampati seat by defeating his nearest rival from the ruling alliance, where BJP is a junior partner with 2 seats. Congress, now with 21 seats, is single largest party in Meghalaya’s 60-member assembly.
The trends have also spirited the Opposition after TMC continued consolidating in West Bengal winning Maheshtala Assembly. The bypoll was held following the death of Trinamool Congress MLA Kasturi Das. The TMC has fielded her husband Dulal Das.
While in Kerala, the ruling LDF got a boost with CPM retaining Chenganur assembly seat.
Bihar too threw a worrying trend for the BJP and its ally Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) as rival RJD-Congress combine candidate Sarfaraz Alam won from Jokihat assembly seat by over 41,000 votes.
The set back for the BJP continued in Jharkhand, where the JMM both Gomia and Silli seats. In Gomia, JMM’s candidate Babita Devi defeated AJSU nominee Lambodar Mahto, while in Silli, JMM’s Seema Mahto defeated AJSU chief and former state Deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto by 13,000 votes.
While in Nagaland, the ruling Tokheho Yepthomi of the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) consolidated his lead over his NPF nominee by increasing its margin to over 41,000 votes for the lone Lok Sabha seat.
The bypoll was necessitated after Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is also the ruling alliance leader, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February, days before the assembly polls.