The opposition Congress showed signs of resurgence in Madhya Pradesh by wresting a key seat from the BJP but the ruling party managed to win the two remaining seats in the assembly by-polls, results of which were announced on Monday.
While the Congress wrested the Bahoriband assembly seat from the ruling party, the BJP emerged victorious in Agar and Vijayraghavgarh.
The defeat in Bahoriband is seen as a setback to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who had led the party to victory in 27 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats.
Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath were the only two winners of the Congress.
Sourabh Singh, who joined the Congress recently after quitting the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), won from Bahoriband by a margin of 7,977 votes.
Leader of opposition in the assembly Satyadev Katare said the by-poll results indicated that the Congress’ resurgence has begun in Madhya Pradesh.
"We won the Bahoriband seat despite the fact that the BJP made full use of state machinery and played up sympathy factor too. However, the electorate of Bahoriband rejected them," Katare said.
The BJP was hoping for a sympathy wave in favour of its candidate Pranay Pandey, whose father Prabhat Pandey’s death had necessitated the by-poll.
BJP state president Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, however, said that by winning 2 out of 3 seats, the BJP has retained its original tally.
"The party would analyse the reasons for defeat in Bahoriband and where its calculations went wrong," he added.
The Congress would also be encouraged by the by-poll results in Bihar where its ‘grand alliance’ with JD-U and RJP paid rich dividends.
The alliance won six out of the ten seats while BJP emerged victorious in the remaining four.
The BJP had won 33 out of 40 seats in the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.
The BJP also received a jolt — just three months after its spectacular, power-grabbing performance in the Lok Sabha polls — in Karnataka, where the party lost a stronghold to the Congress.
Honours were shared in Punjab where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress won one seat each.
Out of the 18 seats in four states for which by-polls were held on August 21, Congress and its allies won 10 while seven went to BJP and one to its ally SAD.