Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday thanked people for expressing “continued faith” in the BJP and its “unwavering focus on development and good governance” following his party’s bypoll success in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
In the first elections after the government’s move to scrap high-value currencies, the Bharatiya Janata Party also did well in West Bengal and Tripura. By-elections for 10 assembly and four Lok Sabha constituencies in these states and Union Territory Puducherry were held on Saturday.
“I thank people for the continued faith in BJP & in the BJP’s unwavering focus on development and good governance,” Modi tweeted after the results.
“I congratulate all BJP Karyakartas & leaders for the impressive victories in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP won Shahdol Lok Sabha seat and bagged the Nepanagar assembly seat, where it increased its winning margin to 42,198 votes as against 22,178 previously. The Congress came second in both places.
“I consider this victory as unprecedented as Congress was confident of wresting these two seats from BJP and they tried all tricks in their armoury to achieve their goal,” MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
“The victory shows people have full faith in Modiji’s policies and therefore they have voted for his development initiatives,” he said.
BJP candidate Pradan Baruah won the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat in Assam that was vacated by Sarbananda Sonowal after he became the chief minister. The ruling party’s Mansing Rongpi won the Baithalangso assembly seat, where the Congress candidate who had won in May, joined the BJP.
In Arunachal Pradesh, BJP’s North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) candidate Dasanglu Pul won Hayuliang assembly bypoll. Pul is the youngest of the three wives of former chief minister Kalikho Pul, who committed suicide in August.
In West Bengal, ruling Trinamool Congress swept Tamluk and Cooch Behar Lok Sabha constituencies by a whopping margin of over 4.9 lakh votes, almost doubling the gap from 2014 polls.
While the Left and Congress suffered another crushing defeat, the BJP increased its vote share in the two segments. In Cooch Behar, the BJP candidate came second in the poll race.
“I appreciate @BJP4Bengal for the spirited performance. BJP is fully committed to diligently serving the wonderful people of West Bengal,” Modi said in another tweet.
But chief minister Mamata Banerjee, an opponent of the demonetisation that has led to a cash crunch across the country, said the landslide victory of her Trinamool Congress was “people’s revolt” against New Delhi.
“...This is symbolic. It is a vote against demonetisation. In a democracy, people vent their anger through votes,” Banerjee said after the Trinamool won the Monteshwar assembly seat alongside the two Lok Sabha constituencies.
Banerjee will lead a protest against the central government’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, the AIADMK swept all three assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the ruling CPI-M-led Left Front in Tripura wrested one seat from the Congress and retained another. The Congress’ lone success came in Puducherry.