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Politics
BJP gets jolt in assembly by-polls, Nitish-Lalu alliance clicks in Bihar
26-08-2014

NEW DELHI: Three months after its spectacular showing in Lok Sabha polls, the BJP on Monday received a jolt in assembly by-elections suffering a 4-6 defeat at the hands of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance in Bihar and yielding two strongholds to Congress in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

Honours were shared in Punjab where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress won one seat each. Out of the 18 seats in four states for which bypolls were held on August 21, Congress and its allies won 10 while seven went to BJP and one to its ally SAD.

Bihar: BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain attributed the party’s poor showing to “prevailing” factors in Bihar and said the state leaders would accept total responsibility. The BJP, which had allied with JD(U) in 2010 elections and had parted ways last year, managed to win only in Narkatiaganj, Banka, Hajipur, and Mohania (SC).

The results have come as a boost to the JD(U) government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in Bihar Assembly.

Karnataka: In Karnataka, the ruling Congress received a shot in the arm when it won two seats, including wresting the prestigious Bellary (Rural) from BJP which managed to retain one constituency in the fiercely-fought August 21 by-polls.

In a blow to BJP, Congress’ NY Gopalakrishna trounced BJP’s Obalesh by a margin of 33,104 votes in Bellary Rural, represented earlier by B Sriramulu, who vacated the seat after becoming a Lok Sabha member.

In Shikaripura, BJP managed to retain the seat with BY Raghavendra, son of party National Vice-President and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, winning by a reduced margin of 6,430 votes against Congress’ HS Shantaveerappa Gowda.

Congress retained its traditional stronghold of Chikkodi-Sadalga, where its candidate Ganesh Prakash Hukkeri defeated BJP’s Mahantesh Kavatagimath by 31,820 votes.

Punjab: In Punjab, the prestigious Patiala (urban) constituency was won by Perneet Kaur, wife of former chief minister Amarinder Singh, who had vacated the seat after winning the Lok Sabha election from Amritsar.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had made a stunning debut in the state in the Lok Sabha polls winning four out of 13 seats in Punjab, lost its deposit in Patiala (Urban).

The Talwandi Sabo Assembly seat was bagged by ruling SAD whose candidate Jeet Mohinder Sidhu had deserted the Congress and quit as MLA. Preneet, a three-time MP, was defeated by AAP’s Dharamvira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls.

Madhya Pradesh: In Madhya Pradesh too, the BJP suffered a setback when Congress wrested Bahoriband seat from it but the ruling party won two others. Sourabh Singh, who joined Congress recently after quitting BSP, won by a margin of 7977 votes in Bahoriband.

However, BJP wrested Vijayraghavgarh from Congress whose candidate and former Mayor Brajendra Mishra lost by 53,397 votes to BJP’s Sanjay Pathak.

Pathak won the 2013 polls from Vijaraghavgarh seat on a Congress ticket with a thin margin. He later joined BJP during Lok Sabha polls following differences with senior Congress leaders.

BJP retained the Agar Assembly seat by a margin of 27,102 votes with its candidate Gopal Parmar defeating Congress’ Rajkumar Gore. The bypoll was necessitated after sitting BJP MLA Manohar Untwal got elected as MP from Dewas Lok Sabha seat.