The Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party emerged major winners in the November 7 by-elections, picking up the lion’s share of the 31 Assembly seats spread across seven States, for which counting was held on Tuesday.
In the Firozabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress nominee, actor-politician Raj Babbar, defeated Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav with a margin of 85,043 votes. The seat fell vacant as her husband Akilesh Yadav, who won from both Kannauj and Firozabad in the general elections held earlier, decided to retain the former.
The SP’s defeat in Firozabad was mirrored by Assembly seat losses in Uttar Pradesh, and with the Bharatiya Janata Party turning in a lacklustre performance, Tuesday’s results further suggest that the emerging political contest in the most populous State could well be between Mayawati’s BSP, which won 9 seats, and a Rahul Gandhi-driven Congress organisation, which is slowly beginning to make its impact on the ground.
Earlier, the BSP had only one seat out of the 11 seats for which elections were held in Uttar Pradesh. The Trinamool won seven seats in West Bengal, while earlier it had only five seats out of the 10 in contention. The BJP could retain only two of the four Assembly seats it held — two in Uttar Pradesh and one each in Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Now, the party won one seat each in Rajasthan and Himachal.
Overall, the Congress won 10 seats as against nine held by it. The party has won all three seats in Kerala, two in Assam, one each in West Bengal, U.P., Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Originally the party had two seats each in West Bengal and U.P., three in Kerala and one each in Rajasthan and Himachal.
The Left Front suffered the worst defeat in Kerala as it gained nothing and in West Bengal, its ally, the All-India Forward Bloc, could gain only one seat. Originally in West Bengal the CPI(M) had two seats and the RSP one.
In West Bengal and U.P., independents have won a seat each. Some of the other losers are the Asom Gana Parishad and the Assam United Democratic Front, which have lost one seat each to the Congress; and the Janata Dal (United), one seat in U.P. to the BSP.
In the Firozabad Lok Sabha constituency, the BSP’s S.P. Singh Baghel finished third. While Mr. Babbar polled 3,12,428 votes, Ms. Dimple Yadav secured 2,27,385 votes and Mr. Baghel 2,13,571 votes.