The results of Assembly bypolls in four states saw the BJP achieve a 50 percent strike rate, going by cricketing parlance. It won two seats – one each in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Tripura, but lost the one in Chhattisgarh to the Congress. The Kerala sear was wrested by the CPI-M from the Congress-led UDF.
All the winning parties are ruling in the respective states.
In Uttar Pradesh, BJP’s Yuvraj Singh won the Hamirpur by-election by a margin of 17,000 votes, against Manoj Kumar Prajapati of the Samajwadi Party. BSP candidate Naushad Ali and Congress’s Hardeepak Nishad came a distant third and fourth, respectively.
In the former Left bastion of Tripura, BJP’s Mimi Majumder won the Badharghat Assembly seat by 5,276 votes. The BJP, leading since the counting began, emerged victorious over the Communist Party of India-Marxist. The Congress was hardly in the race with just 9,101 votes in its kitty. The BJP swept to power in this former Left turf in 2018, bringing decades of Manik Sarkar’s rule to an end.
But it was not all good news for the saffron party. In Chhattisgarh, it lost the Dantewada seat to Congress’ Devti Karma. She defeated BJP’s Ojaswi Mandavi by a margin of 11,331 votes. Dantewada has been in the heart of Maoist zone of the state and both the candidates were widows of two prominent leaders who fell victim to the ultra-Left rebels.
Soon after the results were announced, celebrations broke out at the Congress office with party workers bursting firecrackers. In 2018, Congress came to power in Chhattisgarh, ending the long rule of BJP’s Raman Singh in the state.
Down south in Kerala, the only state where the Left still manages to hold its fort, the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front candidate Mani C. Kappan scored an upset victory in the Pala assembly bypolls, defeated the United Democratic Front’s Tom Pulikkunel, of the Kerala Congress-Mani.
Pala was deemed a bastion of the Kerala Congress-Mani, whose late leader K.M. Mani had held the seat for 54 years.
It was the very first time the LDF won this assembly seat, inspite of being in power in the state many times, and the CPI-M took to Twitter to express its glee: “LDF wins Pala Assembly Bypolls! Huge Victory as Left has never won with constituency since its formation in 1965.”