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Bypolls: BJP suffers setback in Himachal; Congress upbeat

The saffron party, however, retained its Lok Sabha seat of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, while the Shiv Sena won the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Parliamentary seat.

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New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday suffered a major setback in the party-ruled Himachal Pradesh as the Congress wrested the Mandi Lok Sabha seat from it and bagged all the three Assembly seats in the by-elections held in the state.

The saffron party, however, retained its Lok Sabha seat of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, while the Shiv Sena won the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Parliamentary seat.

In the Assembly by-elections held to 30 seats in 14 states, Congress got 8 seats, BJP bagged 6, JDU won 2, TMC got 4, United Peoples Party – Liberal got 2, INLD 1, TRS 1, National People’s Party (NPP) 2, United Democratic Party (UDP) 1, Mizo National Front (MNF) 1 and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) 1.

The BJP was leading at one seat in Telangana at the time of filing of this report.

In Himachal Pradesh, Congress candidate Pratibha Singh, who is the wife of former Chief Minister late Virbhadra Singh, defeated BJP nominee Brig Kushal Chand Thakur in the Lok Sabha by-elections in Mandi.

Pratibha Singh bagged 3,69,565 votes, while Thakur got 3,62,075 votes.

The Congress candidate got 49.14 per cent votes, whereas Thakur got 48.14 per cent votes.

The Mandi Lok Sabha seat had fallen vacant in March with the demise of BJP MP Ramswaroop Sharma.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Singh Thakur attributed the BJP’s defeat in the Parliamentary bypoll to inflation.

“Price rise was an issue… They (Congress) got the issue and took advantage,” Thakur said after the election result came.

He, however, went on to add that inflation is a global phenomena.

In the by-election to the Khandwa Parliamentary constituency in Madhya Pradesh, Gyaneshwar Patil of BJP defeated Congress nominee Rajnarayan Singh Purni.

Patil bagged 6,32,455 votes, while Purni got 5,50,315 votes. Patil got 49.85 per cent vote share, whereas Purni managed 43.38 per cent vote share.

In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Shiv Sena candidate Delkar Kalaben Mohanbhai bagged 1,18,035 votes and defeated BJP nominee Gavit Maheshbhai, who got 66,766 votes.

Mohanbhai got 59.53 per cent votes, while Maheshbhai garnered a vote share of 33.68 per cent in a multi-cornered contest.

Out of 8 Assembly seats, Congress won three in Himachal Pradesh, two in Rajasthan and one each in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Significantly, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are ruled by the BJP.

The BJP, out of 6 Assembly seats results for which were declared so far, got three in Assam, 2 in Madhya Pradesh and one in Karnataka.

The TMC bagged all the four Assembly seats, where elections were held, in West Bengal, a state where it is in power.

The United Peoples Party – Liberal bagged two Assembly seats in Assam, INLD won 1 seat in Haryana, NPP got two seats in Meghalaya, where UDP got 1 seat.

MNF got one seat in Mizoram and NDPP won one seat in Nagaland.

Congress was elated over the bypoll results, with its top leader Rahul Gandhi tweeting, “Every victory for the Congress is a victory of our party worker. Keep fighting hate. No fear!”

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