BJP scores 1/10 in assembly by-polls

New Delhi: The just-concluded assembly by-election held across nine states and in 10 constituency seats, once again left the Bhartiya Janata Party in the lurch, just like the results in the Loksabha by-polls.

The BJP managed to win just one out of the 10 constituencies in the assembly by-polls, clearly stalled by the Opposition’s anti-BJP unity, ahead of the crucial 2019 general elections.

The only seat that the BJP managed to retain is the constituency of Tharali in Uttarakhand, where its candidate Munni Devi Shah won, defeating Congress’ Jeet Ram with a margin of 1981 votes.

The by-poll was held to fill a vacancy caused by the death in February of sitting MLA Magan Lal Shah.

However, Tharali is BJP’s lone victory in the assembly by-elections.

While the BJP managed to level the Opposition in the Loksabha by-elections with Maharashtra’s Palghar and Nagaland, the results in the assembly polls left much to worry for the BJP, breaking its winning-spree pattern as was seen in the assembly elections, before Karnataka.

Out of the 10 seats, the Congress won three seats in Punjab’s Shakot, Maharashtra’s Palus Kadegaon and Meghalaya’s Ampati, while in Jharkhand’s Gomia and Silly, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha managed to crush BJP and AJSU and retain both the seats.

Hardev Singh Ladi won from Punjab’s Shakot. The Shiromani Akali Dal representative of the Shahkot seat, Ajit Singh Kohar the sitting MLA, died in February, which necessitated by-poll in the assembly. Kohar had won from the constituency in 2012 and 2017.

The by-poll in Palus-Kadegaon Assembly constituency was necessitated due to the death of Congress’s Patangrao Kadam, who had won the constituency twice. The EC has declared Kadam’s son elected unopposed as the BJP had withdrawn its candidate.

Miani D Shira won from the Ampati constituency in Meghalaya. Former Meghalaya Chief Minister and Congress MLA Mukul Sangma resigned from Ampati seat in March, as he had also won from Songsak. Sangma was the MLA from this seat since 1993.

The by-poll in Gomia Assembly was necessitated after the sitting MLA Yogendra Prasad Mahto of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) was expelled from the assembly after he was convicted in a coal theft case.

In Jharkhand’s Silli the sitting MLA, Amit Mahto, of the JMM was convicted in a criminal assault case in March, following which the seat fell vacant.

The remaining seats were won by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Trinamool Congress in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s candidate Saji Cherian won the by-poll.

Chengannur seat fell vacant after the death of Communist Party of India (Marxist) sitting MLA K.K. Ramachandran Nair in January.

Samajwadi’s Party’s Naim Ul Hassan swept the polls in Uttar Pradesh’s Noorpur.

The RJD defeated Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and swept the Jokihat by-polls which were held on May 28, with the party’s Shahnawaz Alam emerging victorious by over 40,000 votes over JD(U)’s Murshid Alam.

Sarfaraz Alam had won the Jokihat assembly seat on Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) ticket. He later contested from RJD ticket and resigned in April from the post of MLA after his victory in the Araria Lok Sabha by-poll.

Dulal Chandra Das won the Maheshtala assembly polls in West Bengal. The Maheshtala seat was held by Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Kasturi Das until his death in February. He too had represented this constituency twice.

The result in the by-elections clearly left the ruling party in the lurch, as it swerved the party from its path of easy wins to a series of loses, especially on home turfs. The winning spree of the BJP in assembly elections is showing no impact on the crucial by-polls, and in fact, hints at a larger risk as the party prepares for state assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. (ANI)