Congress draws a blank in by-elections

NARROW WIN: HJC-BJP candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi celebrates his victory in the by-election to the Hisar Lok Sabha seat on Monday.

NARROW WIN: HJC-BJP candidate Kuldeep Bishnoi celebrates his victory in the by-election to the Hisar Lok Sabha seat on Monday.  

It loses the Hisar Lok Sabha seat; JD(U) retains Daraunda in Bihar, TRS victorious in Banswada, BJP annexes Khadakwasla

The Congress failed to win a single seat in the recent by-elections whose results were announced on Monday: predictably, the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) retained the Hisar Lok Sabha seat in Haryana, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) kept the Daraunda Assembly seat in Bihar, and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) won the Banswada Assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh.

The only surprise came in Maharashtra's Khadakwasla Assembly seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), backed by the Shiv Sena-Republican Party of India (RPI) combine, defeated the Congress-supported Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate.

Counting in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirapalli West and Puducherry's Indira Nagar Assembly seats will be taken up on October 20, to prevent their results influencing the current local body elections in Tamil Nadu.

The BJP hailed the victory of its candidates — one of its own, and two of its allies — as the “people's verdict against a corrupt Congress government at the Centre”; the Congress stressed that none of the seats was in its strongholds.

In Hisar, which gained national attention, thanks to Team Anna campaigning against the Congress there, the HJC-BJP combine's Kuldeep Bishnoi defeated his nearest rival, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)'s Ajay Singh Chautala, former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's son.

He rode the sympathy wave created by the death of his father, the former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal. Mr. Bishnoi, however, won by a slender 6,323 votes, in a closely-fought battle. The Congress' Jaiprakash finished a poor third, even losing his deposit, even though he had won the seat thrice in the past, the last time in 2004.

In Banswada in Andhra Pradesh's Nizamabad district, TRS candidate Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy defeated the Congress' Srinivas Goud by 49,889 votes. The by-election was announced after Mr. Reddy, the sitting MLA resigned from the Telugu Desam Party, to join the TRS in the wake of the Telangana agitation.

In Bihar's Siwan district, the JD(U) retained Daraunda, trouncing both the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) combine. The JD(U)'s Kavita Singh is the daughter-in-law of the former MLA, Jagmato Devi, whose death necessitated this by-election. Ms. Singh defeated by 20,092 votes her nearest RJD rival, Parmeshwar Singh, who was backed by party strongmen Mohammad Shahabuddin and Prabhunath Singh.

However, in Maharashtra, the BJP pulled off a surprise win in Khadakwasla: the party's Bhimrao Tapkir defeated by 3,625 votes the NCP's Harshada Wanjale, the wife of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Ramesh Wanjale, whose death resulted in the by-election. While the SS-RPI combine backed the BJP, the Congress supported the NCP.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 3:31:00 PM |

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