Congress and BJP shared the electoral honours in the by-polls held in two Parliamentary seats and five Assembly seats across four states. While, Congress scored a big electoral victory wresting Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, the latter made its debut in Manipur assembly winning two seats. Besides, Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) continues to be a major force in Telangana winning Warangal seat with over whopping 4.5 lakh margin.
By-polls were held in Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha constituency and Dewas Assembly seat after the demise of the sitting members earlier this year.
In a major setback to the BJP close on the heels of big defeat in Bihar assembly polls, its candidate Nirmala Bhuria lost to Kantilal Bhuria of Congress party in Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat, which the BJP had won in 2014. Nirmala Bhuria, daughter of Dileep Singh Bhuria, whose death necessitated the by-poll, lost to former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria, who wrested the tribal-dominated seat from the BJP by a convincing margin of 88,832 votes.
It is a big fillip for the Congress party’s morale which has been out of power in state since December 2003. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Congress party could only manage to cling on to two seats — won by Jyotiraditya Scindhia from Guna and senior leader Kamal Nath from Chhindwara – out of 29 in the state.
Buoyed by its success on Ratlam-Jhabua seat, Congress party was quick to claim that the result reflected a much bigger picture.
“It is a victory of voters. The wave of BJP’s defeat started from Jhabua would spread to the entire state and in the country,” victorious Kantilal Bhuria said adding, “The by-polls were a direct contest between me and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and he suffered a humiliating defeat in Ratlam-Jhabua seat.”
Kantilal Bhuria got 5,36,743 votes while Nirmala bagged 4,47,911. Janata Dal (U) candidate Vijay Haari polled 21,549 votes. Besides, 24,342 voters opted for the NOTA (None of the Above) option.
BJP was, however, able to retain Dewas Assembly seat where its candidate Gayatri Raje Puar won the by-poll by an impressive margin of 30,778 votes, defeating Congress’ Jai Prakash Shastri.
Even as it got a setback in its stronghold, BJP got a good news from the far north-eastern part of country with its members making a debut inside the Legislative Assembly of Manipur. BJP opened its account on Tuesday winning the constituencies of Thangmeiband and Thongju trouncing the ruling party Congress in both the seats.
Congress party is ruling Manipur since 2002, with the incumbent returning on 42 out of 60 seats in 2012 Assembly polls.
Joykishan Singh of BJP won Thangmeiband assembly seat by securing 12,098 against Jyotin Waikhom of Congress who got 10,195 votes, while Bishwajit Singh of BJP won Thongju Assembly constituency by securing 14605 against Bijoy Koijam of Congress who obtained 11,393 votes, the election office said.
The by-polls were necessitated when the Speaker had disqualified both the MLAs under the anti-defection law on May 28. The Speaker had also disqualified the MLA of Wangoi Assembly Constituency, O Lukhoi the same day, but following an appeal in the Court, the High Court of Manipur had ruled that the Wangoi seat was not vacant.
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) continues to be a big political force in the state retaining Warangal Lok Sabha seat in the by-polls with its candidate Pasunoori Dayakar winning by a massive margin of nearly 4.6 lakh votes. Dayakar polled 6,15,403 votes as he humbled Congress nominee and former Union Minister Sarve Satyanarayana (1,56,311) and BJP-TDP combine’s Pagidipati Devaiah (BJP) (1,30,178) in the by-poll.
“A big thanks to Warangal. You’ve inspired us to work more and better”, tweeted K Taraka Rama Rao, the Minister for Panchayatraj, Rural Development and Information Technology and son of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of Kadiyam Srihari after he was made Deputy Chief Minister. Srihari had won the seat with a margin of 3.92 lakh votes in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, Congress retained the Assembly seat in Mizoram Assembly with its candidate and former Mizoram health minister Lal Thanzara winning the bypoll to Aizawl North-III Assembly seat. The by-poll in the constituency was necessitated by the resignation of Lal Thanzara as a legislator and health minister on August 18 last due to allegations of ‘conflict of interests’.
Lal Thanzara, who is the younger brother of Chief minister Lal Thanhawla, scored 6,175 votes followed by Mizo National Front (MNF) candidate Vanlalvena who bagged 2,790 votes, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Lalduhawma managed to get 1,887 votes.
The opposition Hill State Democratic Party (HSPDP) retained Nongstoin Assembly seat defeating the ruling Congress party candidate by a margin of over 2,700 votes. HSPDP candidate Diostar Jyndiang won by a margin of 2,763 votes over rival Congress candidate Gabriel Wahlang.
(With inputs from the PTI)