New Delhi: In his first reaction since the Congress party’s debacle in the Hisar by-polls, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that it was not an indicator of the UPA government’s functioning.
"One bye election in a particular part of the country cannot be considered a reflection on the performance of my government or Congress party," he told the media in Pretoria.
He was replying to a question by a reporter who said some people were saying that the defeat in Hisar was a referendum against his government and party.
Apart from the severe drubbing in the Hisar Lok Sabha constituency, Congress lost all the three
Assembly bypolls, results of which were declared on Monday.
Out of the three Assembly seats, BJP won Khadakwasala in Maharashtra and its NDA ally JD(U) in Daraunda in Bihar while TRS bagged the Banswada seat in Andhra Pradesh.
The poll results have come at a time when the Congress-led-UPA has been fighting a perception battle on graft and has been riddled with various scams like the 2G scam, the CWG scam and the Adarsh Society scam. Whether it is Team Anna or the main Opposition BJP or the Left, the government is being attacked on all fronts for its failure to curb corruption.
Meanwhile, according to sources, the Congress core group, along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and PM are due to deliberate on the party`s defeat in the October 13 bypolls in a meeting on Friday. It is being said that the Congress president Sonia Gandhi will preside over the meeting. Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony and P Chidambaram and a host of other senior party leaders will be in attendance.
The core group will most likely to study the initial reports prepared by the general secretaries on the poll results, as per reports.
Manmohan Singh is due to return to India on Wednesday night from his trip to South Africa.
In the prestigious Hisar Lok Sabha byelection in Haryana, Haryana Janhit Congress-BJP combine nominee Kuldeep Bishnoi won in a closely-fought battle in which Team Anna
sought a crushing defeat for the Congress that finished a poor third.
Bishnoi (42), son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal whose death caused the bypoll, retained the seat for the party defeating his nearest rival INLD`s Ajay Singh Chautala
(50), son of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, by a margin of 6,323 votes, out of the over nine lakh votes polled.
Ruling Congress nominee and three-time MP from Hisar Jai Prakash (58), a former Union Minister, finished third. He had won the seat last in 2004.
In the Banswada Assembly by-poll in Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Rashtra Samiti candidate Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy defeated ruling Congress` Srinivas Goud by a
margin of 49,889 votes.
In a setback to ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra, BJP won the Khadakwasla Assembly bypoll in Pune district.BJP candidate Bhimrao Tapkir won by 3,625 votes, defeating NCP`s Harshada Wanjale, the widow of MNS legislator.
Dealing a blow to opposition RJD-LJP combine and Congress in Bihar, the ruling JD(U) retained the Daraunda assembly constituency. JD(U) candidate Kavita Singh defeated her nearest RJD
rival Parmeshwar Singh by 20,092 votes.
Counting of votes for two other assembly seats -- Tiruchirappalli West in Tamil Nadu and Indira Nagar in Puducherry -- will be held on October 20.
With PTI inputs