The ruling parties in both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh swept the bypolls to three Lok Sabha and three assembly seats. Mayawati’s BSP retained both Azamgarh and Khalilabad Lok Sabha seats and wrested Karnailganj (Gonda) assembly seat from the Congress. And in MP’s Betul constituency, the BJP was triumphant.
Akbar Ahmad Dumpy (BSP) trounced Ramakant Yadav (BJP) by 54,251 votes in Azamgarh, a Yadav-Muslim dominated constituency. Samajwadi Party’s Balram Yadav was relegated to the third position.
In Khalilabad, Bhisma Shankar alias Kushal Tiwari of the BSP defeated Samajwadi Party’s Bhalchand Yadav by 64,632 votes. The two had swapped parties since the 2004 Lok Sabha polls – as well as victories.
In 2004, Tiwari, son of mafiosi-turned-politician Harishankar Tiwari, had contested on an SP ticket from Khalilabad. Then Bhalchand Yadav, a BSP man, had trounced him.
Chief Minister Mayawati said the results are “victory of the programme and policies of the BSP government”. She also took a dig at the Congress for its “new found love for Dalits” and said it had lost deposits at four places.
The Azamgarh and Khalilabad seats fell vacant after Ramakant and Bhalchand - then both BSP MPs - were disqualified for campaigning for the Samajwadi Party during last year’s assembly polls. The SP, however, refused to nominate Ramakant in the by-election and he joined the BJP.
In the assembly bypolls, the BSP retained Bilgram (Hardoi), which fell vacant after the death of MLA Upendra Tiwari. The party fielded his widow Rajni who won by 38,000 votes. In Karnailganj (Gonda), Congress MLA Ajya Pratap Singh alias Lalla Bhayya had resigned and joined the BSP. The party fielded his sister Kunwari Brij Singh who won by 9,737 votes. And in Moradnagar (Ghaziabad), Independent MLA Rajpal Tiyagi resigned from the seat to join the BSP. Tiyagi won by 6,853 votes.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP's victory in Betul has come as a huge morale booster for the party, particularly Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, ahead of assembly elections in October/November. Its candidate Hemant Khandelwal defeated the Congress's Sukhdev Panse by over 35,000 votes.