Bhopal/Hyderabad: BJP lost its first parliamentary seat on Tuesday after the party's spectacular 2014 Lok Sabha victory when it failed to retain the Ratlam-Jhabua constituency in a bypoll in Madhya Pradesh losing to Congress in a setback coming close on the heels of its Bihar drubbing.
The defeat in a BJP-ruled state that helped Congress increase its tally to 45 in the Lower House reverses the trend in the six earlier Lok Sabha bypolls where the incumbent parties had retained their seats. The strength of BJP comes down to 281 in the 543-member House.
The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), however, retained the Warangal (SC) Lok Sabha seat today as Pasunoori Dayakar won by a massive margin of nearly 4.6 lakh votes, defeating the candidates of Congress and the BJP-TDP combine. All the eight bypolls were necessitated either due to seats being vacated or death of sitting members.
BJP's Nirmala Bhuria was trounced by former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria of Congress in Ratlam-Jhabua (ST) seat which the saffron party had won in 2014 during the landslide victory in the state bagging 27 of the 29 seats.
In a sign there was no sympathy wave, Kantilal Bhuria defeated Nirmala Bhuria, daughter of Dileep Singh Bhuria, whose death necessitated the bypoll, by a convincing margin of 88,832 votes.
The bypoll was a prestige battle for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had addressed 27 rallies in six days in Ratlam and Jhabua.
"The wave of BJP's defeat has started from Jhabua and would spread to the entire state and in the country," a jubilant Kantilal said.
However, riding on 'sympathy wave' after the death of sitting MLA Tukoji Rao Puar, an erstwhile royal of Dewas, BJP retained Dewas Assembly seat where its candidate and Puar's wife Gayatri Raje Puar defeated Congress's Jai Prakash Shastri by a margin of 30,778 votes.
BJP opened its account in the 60-member Manipur Assembly by winning the bypoll in two constituencies of Thangmeiband and Thongju, trouncing Congress in both the seats with Joykishan Singh and Th Bishwajit Singh emerging winners. Both the winners were earlier with the Trinamool Congress.
Opposition Hill State Democratic Party (HSPDP) retained the Nongstoin Assembly seat in Meghalaya defeating ruling Congress candidate by a margin of over 2,700 votes in the November 21 bypoll.
This is the second loss for the ruling Congress in a span of one month after it lost badly in the Garo tribal council elections held last month.
Former Mizoram health minister Lal Thanzara of Congress won the bypoll to Aizawl North-III Assembly seat with a thumping majority.
Lal Thanzara, who is the younger brother of Chief minister Lal Thanhawla, scored 1,498 more votes than the total number of votes secured by Mizo National Front candidate K Vanlalvena and NDA nominee Lalduhawma.