New Delhi: It was bad news for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly by-elections in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
These were the states that the BJP had swept in the Lok Sabha polls four months ago. The party which is ruling at the Centre lost 13 of the 24 seats held by it.
Also, the polls were seen as yet another test of popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today's reverses in the bypolls has come after the party's disappointing performance in the Assembly by-elections in Bihar, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh in the last two months.
It was Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP was on a high after a near-total sweep of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, that delivered a humiliating blow to the saffron party as it lost seven of the 11 seats held by it, including one held by its ally Apna Dal, as per PTI.
BSP's absence in the by-elections had made it a virtual straight fight between SP and BJP in the politically crucial state.
Equally crushing was the defeat in Rajasthan where BJP conceded three of the four seats to Congress, which also managed to wrest three of the nine seats in Gujarat, where the elections were held for the first time in 12 years sans Narendra Modi.
The BJP, which is hoping to do well in the coming assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, conceded that the bypoll results were not up to expectations and said that people had voted on local issues.
The only solace for BJP on an otherwise dismal day was its entry in West Bengal Assembly.
Following is the counting of votes and results as they happened:
10:20 pm: Launching a scathing attack on BJP over its reverses in the by-elections, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi said people are no longer prepared to fall in the trap of those adept in weaving illusion. "Those who won the Lok Sabha polls by weaving illusion in the minds of people should now realise that masses are no longer prepared to fall in their trap," Manjhi said in a statement on the outcome of bypolls in nine states, as per PTI.
9:25 pm: Aam Aadmi Party said that the bypolls setback was "bad news" for BJP, but does not mean "good news" yet for the Opposition parties.
In a series of tweets, senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said that the electoral losses have put a question mark on the "good days" promise of the Narendra Modi government and opened up a "space" for the building of a "real Opposition".
9:10 pm: With the CPI(M) failing to make a mark in the Assembly by-elections and losing its deposit in one of the seats, the party termed the result as disastrous and said it needs to introspect the causes behind the defeat. "We need to introspect why we came up with such a poor show. We lost deposit in Chowringhee and came third in Basirhat Dakshin. Although as per the Lok Sabha polls we had put up a good show in both the segments, yet it needs to be seen as to what should be done to rectify the debacle," CPI(M) state secretariat member Rabin Deb told PTI.
8:30 pm: Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti said the reverses suffered by the party in assembly bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat should not be linked with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity. "Local factors must have been responsible for the party's performance in seats where it did not do well," she said.
8:00 pm: Congress had a dig at Modi saying that within 100 days of his rule, people have started voting for a 'Modi-free India".
Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also said on Twitter that BJP chief Amit Shah may have to apply for a new job in the party in the wake of the electoral reverses.
5:30 pm: Apna Dal MP Anupriya Patel and other party leaders have begun a dharna and sought re-election for Rohaniya Assembly seat. Leaders of Apna Dal and its ally BJP alleged that "seal of EVMs and its boxes were found broken before the counting of votes started".
3:55 pm: Congress, AIUDF bag one seat each in Assam Assembly bypoll. While, the ruling Congress retained Lakhipur seat, AIUDF won Jamunamukh Assembly seat.
3:25 pm: AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal says, "The 'Modi Wave' is over. People have realised the truth that is the message of today's poll results."
3:05 pm: Congress says the results should ring alarm bells for the BJP as people have rejected its "politics of polarisation" and claimed anti-incumbency factor has set in within 100 days of Modi government coming to power.
2:50 pm: CPI says BJP's attempts to "polarise the people on communal lines" have been rejected by the people in the Assembly bypolls in four states.
2:30 pm: Congress wrests three Assembly seats in Gujarat from the ruling BJP, which managed to retain six besides the lone Lok Sabha seat for which by-polls were held on September 13.
2:10 pm: BJP candidate Ashutosh Tandon wins from Lucknow (East) constituency by defeating Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh.
1:55 pm: "We have won in many places and at some places, the results have been not up to our expectations... These by-polls have been fought over local issues and in places where the state governments Congress today wrested three assembly seats in Gujarat from the ruling BJP, which managed to retain six besides the lone Lok Sabha seat for which by-polls were held on September 13.
have full majority," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain says.
1:45 pm: BJP candidate Vimla Botham defeats SP MLA Bhagwan Sharma's wife Kajal Sharma in Noida constituency.
1:30 pm: Mulayam's grand nephew Tej Pratap Yadav wins Mainpuri seat by over 3 lakh votes.
1:21 pm: Samajwadi Party wins Balha, Hamirpur, Bijnore, Nighasan, Charkhari, Sirathu and Thakurdwara Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.
1:12 pm: Telangana Rashtra Samithi candidate K. Prabhakar Reddy wins Medak Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 3,61,277 votes.
1:09 pm: "There is no place for communal politics in West Bengal. Congress and Left are insignificant in the state," says TMC leader Mukul Roy.
1:00 pm: Ruling Congress retains Lakhipur Assembly constituency of Assam as its candidate Rajdeep Goala defeated his nearest BJP rival Sanjay Thakur by 9172 votes.
12:45 pm: Samajwadi Party wins the Thakurdwara Assembly seat and leading in eight others, while the BJP is ahead in two seats in Uttar Pradesh where bypolls were held for 11 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat.
12:38 pm: The BJP retains the prestigious Vadodara Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat vacated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a huge margin of more than 3.29 lakh votes.
12:30 pm: Congress wins Khambhaliya Assembly seat in Gujarat seat.
12:18 pm: Samajwadi Party candidate Krishna Gopal Patel wins Nighasan Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh.
12:10 pm: Ruling SP wins the Thakurdwara Assembly seat in Moradabad district, with its candidate Nawabjaan defeating BJP's Rajpal Singh by a margin of 27,023 votes.
12:01 pm: BJP's Rajeev Gumbar wins Saharanpur Assembly seat in UP.
11:55 am: Opposition AIUDF is leading in Jamunamukh and Lakhipur Assembly seats, while BJP is ahead in Silchar in Assam.
11:50 pm: Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot says the credit for the phenomenal success of the Congress party must be given to the party workers.
Pilot said: "It is a phenomenal success of the Congress party workers. The BJP has had a brute majority in the state of Rajasthan. Three months ago we lost the Parliament elections also by huge margin. All the four seats in the elections were held by the BJP and it had won these seats by the margin of 50,000 or more in some cases."
11:45 am: Independent Candidate Rup Narayan Chamling wins Rangang-Yangang Assembly seat in Sikkim.
11:40 am: Buoyed by bypoll trends, which indicate a landslide victory for Samajwadi Party, UP Chief Minister Akhiesh Yadav apparently mocked at Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, saying that "Acche din, acchi baat...acche parinaam aa gaye."
The UP CM thanked the people for voting for his party and promised to work for the development of the state.
11:34 am: BJP wins Basirhat Dakshin Vidhan Sabha constituency and Trinamool wins Kolkata's Chowringhee Assembly seat in West Bengal.
11:30 am: BJP leads in Noida and Lucknow (East).
11:25 am: BJP wins 6 and Congress 2 seats in Gujarat.
11:17 am: Congress candidate Ramnarayan Gujjar won the Nasirabad Assembly constituency in Rajasthan by defeating BJP's Sarita Gena by a margin of 386 votes in the bypolls.
11:12 am: Ruling TRS's TK Prabhakar Reddy is leadinagarg by a huge margin of more than 1.5 lakh votes in Medak constituency over rival Congress at end of seventh round of counting for Lok Sabha bypoll.
11:04 am: Congress wins Nasirabad and Vair Assembly seats in Rajasthan, BJP wrests Kota (South).
11:00 am: After three hours of counting, trends show that AIUDF in Assam is leading in 2 Assembly seats and Congress in 1.
10:55 am: BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra says the trends show that party needs to introspect. The BJP leader further said that the bypolls results shouldn't be seen as a test for PM Narendra Modi.
10:50 am: TDP candidate T Sowmya wins Nandigama (SC) Assembly bypoll in Andhra Pradesh.
10:43 am: BJP wins Anand Assembly seat in Gujarat.
10:39 am: Commenting on the bypoll trends, BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria said public mandate should be seen as an indicator to evalutae what were the loopholes during the elections.
10:34 am: TDP candidate T Sowmya has taken a lead of more than 32,000 votes in Nandigama (SC) Assembly bypoll over her nearest rival Congress's Bodapati Babu Rao.
10:32 am: Trinamool Congress surges ahead of Congress in Basirhat and Chowringee constituencies in West Bengal.
10:29 am: Expressing his views on the bypoll trends, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said that the BJP which was trying to create communal tension in UP has been given a befitting reply by the people. "It has just been 100 days, so I wouldn't say much about the new government, but the public is losing faith in Narendra Modi. About the by-polls, I think the people of Uttar Pradesh have given a befitting reply to the BJP for creating communal tensions in the state," Agarwal told ANI.
10:24 am: Congress wins Deesa Assembly seat in Gujarat.
10:20 am: CPI-M candidate Prabhat Chowdhury trounces his nearest INC candidate Mailafru Mog by 15,971 votes in the Manu (ST) Assembly constituency of Tripura.
10:16 am: BJP candidate Ranjanben Bhatt wins Vadodara Lok Sabha.
10:12 am: Samajwadi Party leading in 9 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, while BJP ahead only in 2 seats.
10:08 am: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leads in Seemandhra region in andhra Pradesh.
10:04 am: BJP wins Tankara Assembly seat in Gujarat.
10:00 am: Jolt for BJP, Congress wins Mangrol Assembly seat in Gujarat.
9:58 am: After two hours of counting, trends indicate that Trinamool Congress and Congress are leading in 1 Assembly seat each in West Bengal.
9:52 am: Congress picks up in Rajasthan, leads in 3 out of 4 seats.
8:45 am: In Rajasthan BJP, and Congress are engaged in neck-to-neck fight as both the parties are leading in 2 seats each.
8:42 am: In West Bengal Trinamool Congress is leading in Chowringee and Basirahat assembly constituency.
8:40 am: Telangana Rahtra Samiti (TRS) is leading in Medak Lok Sabha constituency.
8:35 am: In Noida BJP is leading ahead of bot hthe Congress and Samajwadi Party
8:30 am: UP results: BJP leading in Lucknow, Saharanpur, Moradabad
8:25 am: BJP candidate from Maninagar in Gujarat leads. Bypolls were held in Maninagar after PM Narendra Modi vacated his Assembly seat after winning the Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi and Vadodara.
8:22 am: Samajwadi Party candidate from Hamirpur constituency leads.
8:18 am: In Uttar Pradesh BJP is leading in 4 seats and Samajwadi in 2. The SP candidate from Mainpuri constituency is surging ahead. Mainpuri is considered to be Mulayam Singh Yadav's bastion.
8:15 am: Early trends indicate BJP is ahead of Congress in Vaodara Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. In nine Assembly seats in Gujarat BJP is leading in 6, while Congress is surging in 3.
The counting of votes for 3 Lok Sabha and 33 Assembly seats spread across ten states began on Tuesday.
The recently held bypolls is being seen as yet another key test of Narendra Modi government's popularity since it assumed power in May.
The three Lok Sabha seats are --Vadodara (Gujarat), Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh), where Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, the nextgen of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's extended family is making his debut, and Medak (Telangana) where BJP is locked in a straight fight with ruling TRS.
While 49 percent polling was recorded in Vaododara, 56 and 67 percent turnout was recorded in Mainpuri and Medak respectively.
Moderate to high turnout on Saturday marked the by-elections held in 3 Lok Sabha and 33 assembly constituencies spread across ten states.