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Rulers rule the roost in bypolls

A distinct pro-incumbency flavour marked bypolls in two of the 5 states where results were declared on Friday.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2009 23:20 IST
HT Correspondents

A distinct pro-incumbency flavour marked bypolls in two of the 5 states where results were declared on Friday.

By-elections for 17 assembly seats — five each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, four in Uttar Pradesh, two in West Bengal and one in Meghalaya — took place on August 18 and counting was held on Friday.

In UP, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won three of four seats at the expense of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While the BSP won the Malihabad, Bidhoona and Moradabad West seats, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) retained Morna.

With this, the ruling BSP’s strength in the 403-member assembly has gone up to 218. The SP now has 88 seats, BJP 48, Congress 19 and RLD 10. Nine seats had gone to candidates from other parties.

For the 11 seats that had fallen vacant after candidates resigned as they had been elected to the Lok Sabha, or died, the state will witness another round of bypolls in October.

The anti-Left sentiment building in West Bengal was further strengthened with the Trinamool Congress winning both the Bowbazar and Sealdah seats. Both were earlier held by the Congress, which did not field any candidate this time, as part of an alliance with Trinamool.

The ruling combine also scored a decisive victory in Tamil Nadu. With the AIADMK-led opposition boycotting the bypolls, the DMK-Congress alliance won all five seats where bypolls were held.

The DMK won the Bargur seat earlier held by the AIADMK and Cumbum, previously with the MDMK. It also retained the Ilayangudi seat to take its tally to 99 legislators in the 234-member assembly. Among the other parties, the AIADMK has 58 seats, the Congress 36, the PMK 18, the CPI (M) nine, the CPI six and the MDMK three.

Of Karnataka’s five seats, the BJP and JD-S notched up two seats each. The BJP wrested the Kollegal and Chitapur (Reserved) seats, while the JD-S won Chennapatna and retained Ramanagara. The Congress managed to retain Govindarajanagar from the 4 seats it held.

The party had better luck in Meghalaya where Education Minister and Congress nominee Ampareen Lyngdoh won the bypoll to the Laitumkhrah constituency defeating United Democratic Party candidate Malcolm Tariang by 2,327 votes.