Assembly bypolls: Mixed bag for Cong, BJP

Congress won two of the eight assembly seats for which by-elections were held, while BJP bagged one and suffered a humiliating defeat in Karnataka.

New Delhi: Congress on Sunday won two of the eight
assembly seats for which by-elections were held as the party
appeared not to have been hit by a string of scams rocking the
UPA coalition at the Centre while BJP bagged one and suffered
a humiliating defeat in Karnataka losing its deposit.

The Congress won one seat each in Haryana and Himachal
Pradesh while BJP bagged one in HP, where the ruling party and
the Opposition Congress wrested one from each other.

JD(U), JMM and HJC retained one seat each in Bihar,
Jharkand and Haryana respectively while Odisha`s ruling party
BJD also retained one seat in the eastern state.

In Karnataka, the ruling BJP suffered a crushing
defeat in Bellary, the stronghold of mining magnates and
former ministers G Janardhana Reddy, now in jail, and
Karunakara Reddy, when former minister B Sreeramulu won by a
massive margin. BJP finished third behind the Congress and its
candidate lost the deposit. Sreeramulu contested as an
Independent after quitting BJP.
In the Lok Sabha by-election, Congress`s key UPA ally
Trinamool Congress retained the prestigious Kolkata South seat
trouncing the CPI-M keeping the stranglehold on this
constituency held by its supremo and West Bengal Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee. The strength of Trinamool in the
Lower House has now been restored to 19.

The victory margin of PWD Minister Subroto Bakshi, one of
Banerjee`s trusted aides and state Trinamool president, even
surpassed the party supremo`s 2009 winning margin of 2,19,571
votes. The record victory margin of 2,30,099 votes is the
highest since the Kolkata South seat was created in 1967.
Congress was able to get a majority on its own in the
Haryana Assembly when it broke a 30-year-old jinx and wrested
the Ratia seat from INLD.

With today`s win from the stronghold of Om Prakash
Chautala`s INLD, the Congress now has 46 seats in the
90-member Haryana Assembly and it has come as a boost afer its
drubbing in the Hisar by-election which was marked by Team
Anna`s high voltage campaign against the ruling party.

Renuka Bishnoi, wife of HJC President and the newly
elected Hisar MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, retained Adampur seat in
Haryana, the bastion of the Bhajan Lal family, defeating her
Congress rival. Adampur falls in Hisar Parliamentary segment.

BJP and Congress wrested a seat from each other in
Himachal Pradesh.

BJP wrested the Renuka (reserve) Assembly seat from
Congress, which struck a blow to the saffron party in its
stronghold of Nalagarh.

In Renuka constituency, Hridaya Ram of BJP defeated
Vinay Kumar of Congress by 3,526 votes. Ram polled 20,804
votes against 17,278 votes polled by his rival.

In Nalagarh, Lakhvinder Singh Rana of Congress defeated
BJP`s Gurnam Kaur by 1598 votes. Rana polled 28,797 votes
against 27,199 votes polled by his lone rival Gurnam Kaur in a
straight contest.

In Orissa, ruling BJD`s Subhas Gond won the by-election
to the Umerkote Assembly constituency defeating his nearest
BJP candidate by 21,061 votes.

Congress candidate Jatindra Gond was pushed to the third
position in the triangular contest as he polled 32,877 votes
in the tribal-dominated constituency having about 1.65 lakh
voters, said Das, who was the district election officer.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha candidate Jaiprakash Bhai Patel
won the Mandu Assembly bypoll defeating Congress rival Kumar
Mahesh Singh by 23,768 votes.

While Patel polled 52,404 votes, Singh secured
28,636. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric) candidate Manish
Jaiswal finished third with 23,433 votes.

The ruling JD(U) retained Laukaha assembly seat in Bihar
defeating RJD.

Sanjay Kumar Sah, son of the former Panchayati Raj, BC
and MBC Welfare Minister Hari Prasad Sah whose death in
October had forced the bypoll in the assembly seat, polled
64,425 votes as against Mukhtar`s Ahmed`s 41,662 votes.
Congress was in the fourth position.


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