Electoral battles across six states and a Union Territory did not throw up any surprises, with the ruling parties bagging the majority of the 14 seats in the results announced on Tuesday.
The polls, however, defeated opposition parties’ expectation and pitch that the chaos following recall of high-value bank notes would significantly damage the Bharatiya Janata Party electorally.
This was the first set of elections held after the government’s surprise announcement on November 8.
The BJP retained two Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh and Assam and won three assembly seats, one each in MP, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
In the northeast and West Bengal, the party also made significant gains in its vote share.
With opposition parties uniting to attack the government over the demonestisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to tweet about the party’s gains.
“I thank people for the continued faith in BJP and in the BJP’s unwavering focus on development and good governance,” he tweeted.
“Good to see BJP expanding its base in the Northeast.”
In West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress retained the Monteswar assembly and the Coochbehar and Tamluk parliamentary seats. The BJP registered a gain of 12 per cent in its vote share in Cooch Behar and nearly nine per cent in Tamluk.
The BJP won the Hayulliang assembly seat vacated after the death of former Arunachal chief minister Kaliko Pul. His widow Dasanglu Pul won the seat by less than 1,000 votes, pushing the BJP’s tally to 12 in the 60-member House.
The party also retained the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat in Assam vacated by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
Pradan Baruah won the Lakhimpur seat defeating Congress’ Hema Hari Prasanna Pegu by nearly 1.9 lakh votes. Mansing Rongpi, who had won the Baithalangso assembly seat in April as a Congress candidate, returned as the BJP MLA from the constituency. Baruah too had defected from the Congress.
In MP, BJP’s Gyan Singh defeated Congress candidate Himadri Singh in Shahdol, narrowing the earlier 2.4 lakh margin to less than 60,000 votes. In Nepanagar, BJP’s Manju Dadu defeated Congress candidate Antar Singh Barde by over 42,000 votes, a nearly nine per cent gain in vote share since the last election.
In Tripura, Barjala and Khowai were retained by the ruling Left front but the BJP finished second in Barjala, trailing the ruling party by only 3,374 votes.
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK won all three seats. Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy won the Nellithope seat — the Congress’ only gain.