The Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party won assembly bypolls in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam on Thursday while it was leading in Rajasthan as results poured in for the nine seats where elections were held recently. (LIVE COVERAGE)
There was some good news for the Congress in Karnataka, where it won both the seats. But Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP suffered a humiliating defeat in Delhi.
By-elections were held in ten assembly constituencies in eight states on Sunday. Two seats each are in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and one each in West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Delhi.
The thumping victory in the national capital was sweet music for the BJP ahead of the municipal polls.
The BJP registered a victory in the Rajouri Garden assembly bypoll, handing a humiliating defeat to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, which finished a distant third and even lost its deposit.
BJP-SAD joint candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa bagged 40,602 seats, over 50% of the total votes polled, in a boost for the saffron party.
Congress’ Meenakshi Chandela finished second with 25,950 votes while AAP’s Harjeet Singh managed to get only 10,243 votes, less than one-sixth of the total votes polled.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP retained the Bandhavgarh assembly seat after defeating rival Congress by a margin of over 25,000 votes. It was in a close fight between the Congress and the BJP in Ater seat.
BJP nominee Shivnarayan Singh defeated Congress’ candidate Savitri Singh from the seat in Umaria district by 25,476 votes, an election official said.
The bypoll was necessitated as BJP MLA Gyan Singh got elected to the Lok Sabha in November last year from Shahdol in a by-election.
In Himachal Pradesh, BJP candidate Anil Dhiman won the Bhoranj (SC) assembly seat in Himachal Pradesh by 8,290 votes.
The BJP candidate defeated his nearest Congress rival, Promila Devi by 8,290 votes. Dhiman polled 24,453 votes against 16,144 votes polled by Devi while Pawan Chandel, a BJP rebel who contested as an Independent, polled 4,630 votes.
The seat fell vacant following the death of BJP stalwart and former minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman, who won the seat six times in a row since 1990 and now his son Dr Anil Dhiman has retained the seat.
With this, the strength of the BJP has increased to 28 in the 68-member House.
The showing was good for the party in Assam also where its candidate Ranoj Pegu won the Dhemaji assembly by-election defeating his nearest the Congress rival Babul Sonowal by 9,285 votes.
While the BJP candidate polled 75,217 votes, his Congress rival garnered 65,932 votes, the election office here said.
The bypoll was necessitated following the election of BJP MLA Pradan Baruah as MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat.
The BJP had won 60 of 126 assembly seats and formed the government in partnership with its pre-poll alliance partners last year.
The ruling Congress retained its hold over Karnataka, winning Nanjangud and Gundlupet assembly seats.
Congress’ Kalale N Keshavamurthy defeated his nearest rival V Srinivas Prasad (BJP) by over 21,000 votes in Nanjangud.
In Gundlupet, Geetha Mahadevaprasad of the Congress trounced BJP’s CS Niranjan Kumar by over 10,000 votes, an election official said.
Both seats were held by Congress.
With assembly polls slated to be held in about a year, Congress and BJP had played for heavy stakes in the bypolls.
The by-elections were necessitated in Gundulpet following the death of Cooperation Minister Mahadevaprasad and in Nanjangud, it was caused by the resignation of Srinivas Prasad as Congress MLA after he was dropped from the ministry.
Srinivas Prasad had switched over to the BJP, while Keshavamurthy had contested the 2013 Assembly polls on a JD(S) ticket.
In Rajasthan, BJP candidate Shobha Rani was leading by 22,602 votes after ten rounds of counting in the Dholpur assembly bypoll.