The BJP and its allies on Thursday won 26 of the 51 assembly seats at stake in the bypolls across 18 states and the Congress emerged victorious in 12 constituencies while Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM tasted its maiden electoral success in Bihar.
In bye-elections to two Lok Sabha seats, Prince Raj of the Lok Jan Shakti Party won in Samastipur (SC) in Bihar defeating Ashok Kumar of the Congress, while Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil of the NCP emerged victorious in Maharashtra's Satara constituency over Udyanraje Pratapsinhmaharaj Bhonsle of the BJP. The Samajwadi Party turned out to be a major gainer in Uttar Pradesh, wresting a seat each from the ruling BJP and the BSP, while the NDA got eight, one less than it held.
The SP wrested Zaidpur seat from the BJP and Jalalpur seat from the BSP, while retaining Rampur. The BJP won seven seats and its ally Apna Dal (S) bagged one. The BJP retained Balha, Gangoh, Manikpur, Ghosi, Iglas, Lucknow Cantt and Govindnagar, while Apna Dal (S) retained Pratapgarh. The ruling JD(U) suffered a setback in Bihar managing to win only one of the four seats it contested. Bypolls were held in five seats of which RJD won two and AIMIM one.
The remaining seat was won by an Independent. The results gave the once mighty RJD a reason to smile, while Hyderabad MP Owaisi's AIMIM gained a toehold in the state clinching Kishanganj, a Muslim-dominated constituency. BJP rebel candidate Karnjeet Singh won the Dharaunda seat as an Independent. The JD(U) could win only Nathnagar where its candidate Laxmi Kant Mandal beat Rabia Khatun of the RJD by little over 5,000 votes. Four of these five seats were held by BJP ally JD(U) and one by the Congress.
Among the states ruled by the BJP and its allies, bypolls were held on Monday for the maximum 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh, followed by six in Gujarat, five in Bihar, four in Assam and two each in Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The other states where bypolls were held are Punjab (4 seats), Kerala (5), Sikkim (3), Rajasthan (2) and one seat each in Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Telangana. The BJP and its allies held nearly 30 of these seats, while the Congress had won 12 and the rest were with regional parties.
Assembly elections were also held in Maharashtra, where the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition retained power albeit with a reduced majority, and in BJP-ruled Haryana which appeared headed for a hung assembly with JJP chief Dushyant Chautala holding the key to government formation.
In the Gujarat bypolls, ruling BJP and Congress shared the spoils winning three seats each. OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, who switched sides from Congress to BJP, lost from Radhanpur by 3,807 votes to Congress's Raghubhai Desai. Congress candidate Jashu Patel defeated BJP's Dhavalsinh Zala in Bayad, while in Tharad, Congress nominee Gulabsinh Rajput prevailed over BJP's Jivraj Patel. In Kheralu seat, BJP's Ajmalji Thakor beat Congress's Babuji Thakor.
In Lunawada, BJP's Jignesh Sevak beat Congress's Gulabsinh Chauhan while in Amraiwadi, Congress's Dharmendra Patel lost to BJP's Jagdish Patel. Prior to the bypolls, the Congress held Radhanpur and Bayad seats while the other four were with the BJP. In a morale booster after the Lok Sabha poll drubbing months ago, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu wrested two seats from arch-rival DMK and its ally Congress in the bypolls. AIADMK won by impressive margins in Vikravandi and Nanguneri constituencies.
In Kerala, the Congress-led UDF tasted defeat at the hands of the ruling LDF headed by the CPI-M in its strongholds of Vattiyoorkavu and Konni, while it retained two seats and won from the Marxist bastion of Aroor. Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V K Prasanth won from Vattiyoorkavu against his nearest Congress rival K Mohankumar. Another UDF bastion, Konni, went to the LDF kitty with its candidate K U Jenish Kumar defeating P Mohanraj (Cong).
However, the LDF tasted defeat at Aroor, a CPI(M) stronghold where UDF's Shanimol Usman, who had unsuccessfully contested the April Lok Sabha poll from Alappuzha, won by a margin of 2079 votes. Usman defeated her nearest rival Manu C Pulickal of the LDF. The UDF won the Manjeshwaram seat where M C Kamaruddin (IUML) won by 7,923 votes against BJP's Raveesh Thanthri Kuntar. It retained the Ernakulam seat as its candidate T J Vinod, deputy Mayor of Kochi corporation, defeated his nearest rival advocate Manu Roy, the LDF-Independent candidate by over 3,750 votes.
The LDF's strength has now gone up to 93, while that of UDF 45 in the 140-member house. The defeat in Vatiyoorkavu and Konni comes as a rude shock for the UDF which had won 19 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the Lok Sabha polls in May. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress wrested back its traditional Jhabua assembly seat from the BJP. Congress candidate and former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria won by 27,804 votes, defeating BJP's Bhanu Bhuria.
The Congress lost the seat to BJP in last year's assembly polls with G S Damor defeating Kantilal Bhuria's son Vikrant Bhuria by 10,437 votes. However, the BJP fielded Damor in the general elections from the Ratlam-Jhabua seat, which he won by defeating Kantilal Bhuria. The Congress now has 115 members, one short of simple majority in the 230-member house. It enjoys the support of 4 Independents, two BSP MLAs and one SP MLA. The ruling Congress in Rajasthan increased its tally in the state assembly by winning the bypoll to Mandawa seat while MP Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party retained the Khinwsar seat. Congress's Rita Chaudhary won from Mandawa by a margin of 33,704 votes while RLP candidate Narayan Beniwal won Khinwsar by 4,630 votes. Now the Congress tally in the 200-member assembly has increased to 107, including six those who had defected to the party from the BSP last month.
The BJP has 72 MLAs and the RLP three. The ruling Congress consolidated its position in Punjab winning three assembly segments while opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won one seat. Raminder Awla defeated SAD nominee Raj Singh Dibipura by 16,633 votes from Jalalabad, considered an Akali bastion. Earlier, the segment was represented by SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was elected to Lok Sabha in May. In Phagwara, which fell vacant after sitting BJP MLA Som Parkash was elected to Lok Sabha, Congress candidate and former IAS officer Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal defeated BJP's Rajesh Bagha by 26,116 votes. Congress's Indu Bala won from Mukerian by defeating BJP's Jangi Lal Mahajan by 3,440 votes. But the ruling party suffered a setback as SAD's Manpreet Singh Ayali defeated its nominee Sandeep Singh Sandhu by 14,672 votes in Dakha.
The ruling TRS in Telangana won the Huzurnagar seat with its nominee S Saidi Reddy defeating Congress's N Padmavati Reddy. The BJP in Assam won three seats with its candidates Bijoy Malakar (Ratabari), Rajen Borthakur (Rangapara) and Nabanita Handique (Sonari) defeating their respective Congress opponents. All India United Democratic Front's Rafiqul Islam prevailed over Congress's Shamsul Hoque in Jania. The by-election was necessitated after sitting BJP MLAs and ministers Pallab Lochan Das (Rangapara) and Tapan Gogoi (Sonari) and Deputy Speaker Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari) besides Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque (Jania) were elected to the Lok Sabha.
In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP retained both the Dharamshala and Pachhad seats. In Pachhad, Reena Kashyap defeated her nearest rival, former minister Gangu Ram Musafir of the Congress, by 2,742 votes. Vishal Nehria defeated Independent Rakesh Kumar by 6,758 votes in Dharamshala. In Puducherry, the ruling Congress retained the Kamaraj Nagar Assembly seat with its nominee A John Kumar defeating his nearest AINRC rival S Bhuvaneswarane. With this win, the Congress's strength in the assembly has been restored to 15 in which the Congress enjoys the support of the DMK, its alliance partner, from outside. The bypoll was necessitated after incumbent legislator V Vaithilingam (Cong) quit following his election to Lok Sabha from the lone seat here.
The ruling Congress won the Naxal-affected Chitrakot constituency, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, in Chhattisgarh with Rajman Benzam defeating Lachhuram Kashyap of the BJP by 17,862 votes. BJD candidate Rita Sahu won the Bijepur Assembly seat in Odisha defeating Sanat Gartia of the BJP by 97,990 votes, which is the highest-ever margin in the history of the state's assembly polls. Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang aka PS Golay won from Poklok Kamrang seat by 8,953 votes.
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) founder defeated Moses Rai of the Sikkim Democratic Front. The SKM's alliance partner BJP tasted its first electoral victory in the northeastern state winning the Martam Rumtek and Gangtok seats. Sonam TSH Venchungpa won from Martam Rumtek, defeating his nearest rival Nuk Tshering Bhutia of the SDF by 6,150 votes while Yong Tshering Lepcha beat Delay Namgyal Barfungpa of the Sikkim National People's Party by 1,010 votes in Gangtok. Former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who contested from Gangtok seat on a Hamro Sikkim Party ticket, managed to bag only 579 votes.
The ruling SKM's tally in the 32-member House has now gone up to 19 while the BJP's strength in the House is 12. Ten SDF legislators had earlier switched to the BJP. United Democratic Party candidate Balajied Kupar Synrem won the bypoll to Shella constituency in Meghalaya by over 6000 votes. The bye-election was necessitated due to the death of UDP president Donkupar Roy, who had represented the seat for a record seven times, earlier this year. Synrem is Donkupar Roy's son. In Arunachal Pradesh, Independent candidate Chakat Aboh, wife of National People's Party (NPP) leader Tirong Aboh who was shot dead in May, emerged victorious defeating another independent nominee Azet Homtok by 1,887 votes.