The ruling Congress in Assam on Tuesday won the by-elections to both Assembly constituencies — Dhekiajuli and South Salmara. It wrested the Dhekiajuli seat from the Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and South Salmara from the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF).
In Dhekiajuli, Congress candidate Bhimananda Tanti defeated the AGP’s Shib Charan Sahoo by over 21,000 votes. In the South Salmara constituency, the former Congress Minister, Wazed Ali Choudhury, defeated the AUDF’s Abdur Rahman Ajmal, son of perfume mogul and AUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, by over 6,000 votes.
The by-poll in Dhekiajuli was necessitated following the election of sitting AGP legislator Joseph Toppo to the Lok Sabha from the Tezpur constituency, while in the South Salmara constituency, elections were held following the victory of sitting legislator Badruddin Ajmal from the Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency.
The strength of the ruling Congress in the 126-member Assam Assembly has now gone up to 56, while the strength of the AGP and the AUDF stands reduced to 23 and nine.
The AGP and the Bharatiya Janata Party had reached an electoral understanding for the by-elections, with the AGP putting up a candidate in Dhekiajuli and the BJP in the South Salmara constituency.