Opposition parties on Thursday appeared to be winning 11 bypolls, limiting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies to just three out of four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats across 11 states.
With prestige at stake in every bypoll, the BJP lost the high-profile Kairana Lok Sabha seat in politically important Uttar Pradesh to a united Opposition after a communally-charged election campaign, while similar appeared the result for Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra, according to the trends and results announced by the Election Commission, reports said.
Commenting on the results, senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said one has to take two steps backward before a big leap.
Asked about the BJP’s performance in these by-elections ahead of next year’s general polls, Singh said, “For a massive leap, one always has to go two steps backward.”
”We are going to take a massive leap,” he added.
However, the BJP retained another Lok Sabha seat from Maharashtra, Palghar, where it had faced a challenge from its own ally Shiv Sena but the Opposition could not pose a united fight. BJP’s Rajendra Gavit won the seat, defeating Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanaga by 29574 votes.
The fourth Lok Sabha seat, Nagaland, for which bypoll was held earlier this week appeared to be going in favour of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, a BJP allly in the north eastern state.
While the Lok Sabha bypoll results appeared equally divided at 2-2 between the BJP-plus-allies and the opposition parties, figures for the 10 assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could manage just one (in Uttarakhand), while Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab’s Shahkot) and others got six — JMM got two in Jharkhand, while CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool Congress one each in Kerala, UP, Bihar and West Bengal, respectively.
The Trinamool’s Dulal Das won the Maheshtala assembly seat in West Bengal, defeating BJP’s Sujit Kumar Ghosh by 62,827 votes. Dulal Das is the chairman of the Maheshtala municipality. His wife Kasturi held the seat when she passed away.
Kerala’s ruling CPI(M)-led LDF’s Saji Cheriyan also won the Chengannur Assembly bypoll by a huge margin of 20,956 votes over his nearest Congress rival D Vijaykumar, while the BJP candidate came third.