INDIA wins four seats, BJP three in Assembly bypolls

The crucial Ghosi Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh was won by the Samajwadi Party

September 08, 2023 08:38 pm | Updated October 01, 2023 12:48 am IST - NEW DELHI

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party workers celebrate the victory of party candidate Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi constituency by-election, in Lucknow, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)(PTI09_08_2023_000348A)

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party workers celebrate the victory of party candidate Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi constituency by-election, in Lucknow, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (PTI Photo/Nand Kumar)(PTI09_08_2023_000348A) | Photo Credit: Nand Kumar

In the first set of bypolls to be held after the formation of the INDIA bloc of Opposition parties, held in seven seats in six States, the BJP won three seats, with the Opposition constituents of the INDIA bloc bagging four seats, including the crucial Ghosi Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh which was won by the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Honours seemed evenly divided in the contest as of the seven seats where bypolls were held on September 5, three were earlier held by the BJP, and one each was with the Congress, the SP, the CPI(M) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). While the overall tally looked the same as earlier, the BJP lost Dhupguri in West Bengal to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) but wrested Boxanagar in Tripura from the CPI(M).

The BJP retained the Bageshwar Assembly seat in Uttarakhand and Dhanpur in Tripura and managed to wrest Boxanagar Assembly seat from the CPI(M) in the northeastern State. BJP president J.P. Nadda hailed the party’s victories in Tripura and Uttarakhand, thanking the people of Tripura and terming the party’s victory in Tripura as “the reinforcing people’s faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for a developed and prosperous north-east.”

The BJP’s Tafajjal Hossain won the Boxanagar seat in Tripura, where polls were held due to the demise of sitting MLA Shamsul Haque, by 30,237 votes. Mr. Hossain got 34,146 votes, while his nearest rival Mizan Hossain of the CPI(M) got 3,909 votes.

BJP candidate Bindu Debnath bagged the Dhanpur seat, which had been won by Union Minister Pratima Bhowmick in the Assembly polls in February this year and which she vacated to retain her Lok Sabha seat, by 18,871 votes. Kaushik Chanda of the CPI(M) got 11,146 votes.

Alleges rigging

The CPI(M) had boycotted the counting of votes in Tripura, alleging large-scale rigging during the polling and inaction by the Election Commission.

The BJP’s Parwati Dass defeated the Congress’ Basant Kumar by more than 2,400 votes in Bageshwar in Uttarakhand. Ms. Dass is the wife of BJP leader Chandan Ram Dass whose death in April this year had necessitated the bypoll. Ms. Dass’s husband had been winning the seat consecutively since 2007. This is the fifth time in a row that the BJP has bagged the seat.

The Opposition alliance tasted victory in Jharkhand, where the JMM retained the Dumri Assembly seat, and in the Ghosi Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, where it backed the SP. In Ghosi, former SP MLA Dara Singh Chauhan who switched parties, rejoining the BJP, was defeated by a margin of over 42,000 votes, by the SP’s Sudhakar Singh. “It is a win for positive politics and a defeat for negative communal politics... It is Bharat starting towards INDIA’s victory,” SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said. The Ghosi contest was considered significant as Mr. Chauhan was supported by NDA partners Apna Dal (Sonelal), Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (NISHAD) Party and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), a former SP ally, while INDIA bloc constituents — the Congress, the CPI(M), the CPI, the RLD, the AAP, the CPI(ML)-Liberation and the Suheldev Swabhiman Party — extended support to the SP.

JMM’s Bebi Devi won in Dumri in Giridih district by defeating All Jharkhand Student Union’s (AJSU, an NDA constituent) Yashoda Devi by over 17,000 votes. Ms. Bebi Devi is the wife of former Jharkhand Minister Jagarnath Mahto, whose death in April necessitated the by-election. “This remarkable victory of Dumri is the beginning of 2024. The people have decided that only democracy will work in Jharkhand, not the money system. Only and only the government of Jharkhandis will run here. The cheating and arrogance of BJP and AJSU is now sure to be wiped out from Jharkhand,” posted Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on “X”.

In Kerala and West Bengal, the INDIA bloc parties were not in alliance and in fact faced off against each other. The Opposition Congress-UDF in Kerala retained the Puthuppally Assembly constituency in Kerala as its candidate Chandy Oommen, son of the late Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy, defeated the ruling LDF candidate Jaick C Thomas by a margin of over 37,000 votes. BJP candidate Lijin Lal finished a distant third with 6,558 votes. Poll observers said the sympathy generated by the demise of his hugely popular father played out to the advantage of Mr. Chandy Oommen.

In West Bengal, TMC candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy won the Dhupguri seat by over 4,313 votes. The BJP’s Tapasi Roy, wife of a CRPF jawan killed in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021, got 92,648 votes, officials said. CPI(M) candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy, who was backed by the Congress, was a distant third with 13,666, said officials.

“I would like to congratulate all those who beat the BJP to win the bypolls. The BJP has lost four bypolls out of the seven held on September 5. This is a big win for INDIA,” West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said.

    

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