Honours even in Assembly by-poll results
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Last Updated: Saturday, August 22, 2009, 09:44
New Delhi: In the first litmus test for political parties after the recent Lok Sabha polls, honours were even as Congress and its allies on Friday won nine of the 17 seats in assembly by-polls spread over five states.

The win for the Congress and its allies was largely helped by the boycott of opposition AIADMK and its partners in Tamil Nadu where the DMK bagged three seats--Cumbum, Burgur and Ilayankudi. The remaining two seats-- Srivaikuntam and Thondamuthur went to the Congress.

BSP put up a good showing in Uttar Pradesh and it was a shot in the arm for Chief Minister Mayawati with the ruling party winning three seats--Moradabad, Malihabad and Bidhuna while Ajit Singh's RLD retained Morena.

Samajwadi party was the worst sufferer in UP as it not only failed to win a single seat but yielded two seats to BSP.

Fresh from a spectacular showing in the Lok Sabha polls, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, a UPA ally, continued to hold sway in West Bengal which won both Bowbazar and Sealdah seats earlier held by Congress, which did not field any candidate this time.

Congress's dismal performance in BJP-ruled Karnataka, where by-elections were held for five seats, continued. It was able to retain only Govindarajanagar of the four seats it held but had the consolation of seeing the defeat of Housing minister V Somanna, who defected from the Congress before the Lok Sabha polls.

The blow for Congress was hard in Chitapur where Priyanka Kharge, son of Union Labour Minister M Mallikarjun Khage, lost to BJP's Valmiki Nayak.

JD-S won two seats -- retaining Ramnagara and wresting Chennapatna from Congress -- and BJP too bagged two. Besides Chitapur, the saffron party won Kollegal.

BJP's strength in the 224-member Karnataka assembly will now go up to 117 and that of JD-S to 27 while Congress tally will decline to 74.

In West Bengal Shikha Mitra and Swarno Kamal Saha (both Trinmaool) won Sealdah and Bowbazar respectively.

In Tamil Nadu, actor-politician Vijaykant's fledgling DMDK failed to live up to the image it sought to project as an alternative to the principal Dravidian parties -- DMK and AIADMK -- and had to be content with the runners-up position in Cumbum seat.

Today's victory has pushed up DMK's strength in the 234-member Assembly to 98 and that of Congress, supporting it from outside, to 35.

DMK President and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi attributed the performance to achievements of the UPA Government and his government in the state.

He said the people had rejected the AIADMK's boycott call and credited the victory to the hard work by his partymen.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 22, 2009, 09:44

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