An upbeat UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies for the party’s victory.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s popularity took a hit as the results of the bypolls, that were conducted in two parliamentary and 51 Assembly seats across 17 states, were declared on Thursday. Even though in the Assembly bypolls, the BJP took 14 and the Congress bagged 12 seats, the results threw a few surprises in Bihar and Gujarat.
The BJP managed to get only one out of the five Assembly seats in Bihar, while Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) got two. Gujarat results were also surprising as both, the Congress and the BJP, got three each out of the six seats that went for bypolls.
In all, the saffron party and its allies grabbed a total of 30 seats.
Another surprise was Asaduddin Owaisi’s Telangana-based party AIMIM (All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen), which opened its account in the north with its first victory in Bihar after its candidate Qamrul Hoda defeated Sweety Singh of the BJP in Kishanganj.
The states that strongly backed the BJP were Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim. The BJP had an upper hand in UP where 7 out of 11 seats went to it and another one went to its ally, Apna Dal (S), while the Samajwadi Party bagged three seats. The state witnessed some high drama with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi accusing the UP government of manipulating the counting in Gangoh Assembly seat where the Congress’ Noman Masood lost to the BJP’s Kirat Singh by over 5,000 votes.
An upbeat UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies for the party’s victory. “In 8 out of the 11 seats, BJP and its allies have registered victory. I congratulate all the candidates who have won today. PM Modi’s mantra of Sabka saath sabka vikas has become the mantra of the politics in India,” Mr Adityanath said.
In Bihar, where JD-U chief Nitish Kumar is hoping for his fourth term in 2020, the BJP and its ally seem to be losing ground as it managed only one out of the five Assembly seats where bypolls took place. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) bagged two seats.
The AIMIM, which had fielded six candidates in Bihar Assembly elections in 2015 and one in 2019 in Lok Sabha elections but had failed to open its account, registered its first victory in Bihar’s Kishanganj. The fifth seat in the state went to Independent candidate Karnjeet Singh who defeated JD-U’s Ajay Kumar Singh.
Gujarat results were also surprising as the Congress and BJP both bagged three seats each. Among the big defeats was that of OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, who had jumped from Congress to join the BJP. Mr Thakore was an MLA from Radhanpur on Congress seat since 2017 before he quit the party to join the BJP after differences with state party leadership. He was defeated by the Congress’ Raghubhai Desai by 3,807 votes.
In Punjab, the Congress bagged three of four seats, losing one to Shiromani Akali Dal in Dakha which had fallen vacant following the resignation of former AAP leader H.S. Phoolka.
The BJP had an advantage in Assam where National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a burning issue — it got three out of four seats while AIUDF got one. In Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP has a government in place, the party bagged both the seats, while in Sikkim, the BJP tasted it first ever electoral victory by taking two of the three seats in bypollw were held. The third seat went to its ally, Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha.
In Meghalaya, the United Democratic Party retained its Shella Assembly candidate after the by-election was necessitated due to the death of UDP president Donkupar Roy. Roy was an MLA from this seat for a record seven times and now his son, Synrem, will hold the fort.
In the two parliamentary bypolls, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Lok Jan Shakti Party retained their seats in Satara (Maharashtra) and Samastipur (Bihar) respectively.
The Samastipur seat was taken by Prince Raj whose father, Ram Chandra Paswan, had won the seat in the Lok Sabha elections in May for the second consecutive time. The seat fell vacant following his death. Ram Chandra Paswan was the brother of LJSP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
The by-election in Satara was conducted after sitting NCP member of Parliament Udayanraje Bhosale defected to the BJP. However, NCP retained the seat with Shriniwas Patil winning with ease.