BYPOLLS: BJP-LED ALLIANCE SWEEPS ASSAM; CONG WINS BIG IN HIMACHAL - The Daily Guardian
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BYPOLLS: BJP-LED ALLIANCE SWEEPS ASSAM; CONG WINS BIG IN HIMACHAL

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The BJP, Congress and the Shiv Sena won one Lok Sabha seat each, while Assembly segments threw up a mixed bag with results favouring ruling parties in several states as votes were counted on Tuesday. The results for the bypolls held for 30 Assembly seats and three Lok Sabha seats, spread across 14 states and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, were announced on Tuesday. Assembly by-elections were held in five seats in Assam, four in West Bengal, three each in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan and one seat each is in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Telangana. Though there was no discernible wave, some states stood out. Voters in Assam and West Bengal, for instance, gave a decisive thumbs-up to the ruling alliances. The ruling BJP-led alliance in Assam won all the five Assembly constituencies where bypolls were held. Similarly, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won bypolls in all four assembly seats in West Bengal. Congress swept the Rajasthan bypolls. In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP lost all three Assembly seats, as well as the Mandi Lok Sabha seat to the Opposition Congress.

ASSAM

The ruling BJP-led alliance in Assam won all the five Assembly constituencies where bypolls were held, with the saffron party bagging three seats and its ally United Peoples’ Party Liberal emerging victorious in the two other, according to the Election Commission of India on Tuesday. The BJP’s Phani Talukdar, Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain retained their respective Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra seats which they had won in the assembly elections held earlier this year on tickets given by other parties but resigned after joining the saffron party.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “We won all 5 seats with a huge margin. Today’s electoral victory in Assam isn’t an ordinary victory as in every seat we won by a margin higher than in general elections. People of northeast have reposed their faith in the leadership of PM Modi.”

Kurmi retained the Mariani assembly constituency for the sixth time, defeating Congress candidate Luhit Konwar by 40,104 votes while Talukdar won the Bhabanipur seat for the second time beating Sailendra Das of the grand old party by 25,641 votes. Borgohain also retained the Thowra constituency winning by a margin of 30,561 votes over Raijor Dal’s Dhaijya Konwar, who fought as an independent candidate.

The BJP’s ally UPPL wrested the Gossaigaon constituency with its candidate Jiron Basumatary defeating Congress nominee Jowel Tudu by a margin of 28,252 votes while another party candidate Jolen Daimary beat his nearest rival, independent candidate Ganesh Kachary, by 57,059 votes in the Tamulpur seat.

The by-elections to these two constituencies were necessitated following the deaths of BPF and UPPL MLAs in Gossaigaon and Tamulpur respectively. With these results, the BJP’s strength in the 126-member Assam assembly increased to 62 and UPPL’s to eight. The other partner in the ruling coalition, Asom Gana Parishad, which had not fielded any candidate in this bypoll, has nine MLAs.

WEST BENGAL

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won bypolls in all four assembly seats in West Bengal. Trinamool Congress candidates wonDinhata, Santipur, Khardaha and Gosaba assembly with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trailing on the second position on all four seats. TMC’s Udayan Guha won by the margin of 1,64,089 votes over BJP’s Ashok Mandal in Dinhata constituency. In Santipur seat, TMC’s Braja Kishor Goswami won by a margin of 64,675 votes over BJP’s Niranjan Biswas. TMC’s Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay emerged victorious on the Kharadaha seat with a margin of 93,832 votes over BJP candidate Joy Saha. TMC’s Subrata Mondal won the Gosaba assembly seat by a margin of 1,43,051 seats over BJP’s Palash Rana. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated the party candidates and said it was victory of people. She said the results show that people of Bengal will always choose development and unity “over propaganda and hate politics”. The Santipur and Dinhata seats fell vacant after BJP MPs Jagannath Sarkar and Nishith Pramanik resigned from the assembly respectively. The other two seats fell vacant as Trinamool Congress MLAs Kajal Sinha (Khardaha) and Jayanta Naskar (Gosaba) died due to Covid-19.

MADHYA PRADESH

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged two Assembly seats, while Congress managed to secure victory in Raigaon constituency as the result of bypolls on three seats in the state announced on Tuesday. BJP candidates emerged victorious on Jobat and Prithvipur constituencies. BJP’s Sulochana Rawat from the Jobat constituency won by 6,104 votes against Congress’s Mahesh Rawat Patel. In Prithvipur, BJP candidate Shishupal Yadav bagged the seat by a margin of 15,687 votes. Nitendra Singh Rathore from Congress finished second. Congress’s Kalpana Verma bagged the Raigaon constituency, while defeating BJP’s Pratima Bagari, with a margin of 12,290 votes.

The BJP also retained its Lok Sabha seat in Khandwa. BJP candidate Gyaneshwar Patel fought against Congress’ Rajnarayansingh Purni in the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat. With this, the BJP won in three of the four seats in Madhya Pradesh. It won Prithvipur with a margin of 15,678 votes and Jobat with 6,104. Congress won in Raigaon, a traditional BJP seat, after 31 years.

HIMACHAL PRADESH

In a setback to the BJP in Himachal Pradesh, the opposition Congress won all three Assembly seats of Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai and the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. The Congress retained Fatehpur and Arki Assembly seats while it wrested Jubbal-Kotkhai seat from the BJP, according to poll results announced by the Election Commission on Tuesday.

In Mandi, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh defeated BJP’s Brigadier Khushal Thakur, a Kargil war hero. In the 2019 parliamentary polls, BJP’s Ram Swaroop Sharma had emerged victorious by a whopping 4,05,000 votes.

Congress candidates Bhawani Singh Pathania, Sanjay and Rohit Thakur have won from Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly constituencies, respectively. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday said: “I humbly accept the verdict given by the people in by-elections. The results were not as per expectations. The BJP lost Mandi Parliamentary seat with a narrow margin.”

BIHAR

The success in the Bihar bypolls had given the ruling Janata Dal United a much needed relief amid speculations on the longevity of the Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. In both the seats of Bihar Legislative Assembly- Kusheshwarsthan and Tarapur, whose results are declared today, the JDU was able to retain its hold despite much louder campaigns by Lalu Yadav and Tejashwi Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). In the Kusheshwarsthan Assembly segment which falls under Samastipur Lok Sabha seat, the JD(U) candidate, Aman Bhushan Hajari defeated his nearest rival the RJD’s Ganesh Bharti by a margin of more than 12,000 votes, while in the Tarapur assembly seat, JDU’s candidate Rajeev Kumar Singh won by a margin of 3,800 votes. In Kusheshwarsthan, Hajari got 59,887, while the RJD’s Ganesh Bharti polled 47,192 votes.

HARYANA

In Ellenabad, Haryana Assembly bypolls, Abhay Singh Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) defeated the BJP candidate Gobind Kanda. Chautala emerged winner with a margin of just 6737 contrary to the party’s claims and the experts who were expecting INLD’s victory with a difference of at least 15,000- 20,000 votes. Congress candidate Pawan Beniwal finished third in the elections. The bypoll was necessitated after Chautala in January resigned as the MLA from the seat in protest against the Centre’s contentious farm laws.

KARNATAKA

In what is being seen as a bittersweet result for the ruling BJP and Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in Karnataka, the saffron party won the Sindgi Assembly segment, but lost the Hangal seat to Congress. According to results announced by the Election Commission of India on Tuesday, Ramesh Bhusanur of BJP won in Sindgi seat by a margin of 31,185 votes, by securing 93,865 votes, while his closest rival Congress’ Ashok Managuli secured 62,680 votes. In Hangal, Congress’s Srinivas Mane won by a margin of 7,373 votes, securing 87,490 votes, while his closest rival Shivaraj Sajjanar of BJP bagged 80,117 votes.

JD-S’s Naziya Shakeel Ahmed Angadi from Sindgi and Niyaz Shaikh from Hangal came a distant third, by securing 4,353 and 927 votes respectively. The bypolls for two seats was necessitated as they had fallen vacant, following the death of Sindgi JD-S legislator MC Managuli and BJP’s C M Udasi from Hangal.

The BJP losing Hangal is seen as a setback to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, as it is the neighbouring constituency to his Shiggaon assembly segment in Haveri district, and that he had extensively campaigned there. This was also the first major electoral challenge for Bommai, after taking charge as CM.

Congress leaders seemed to be satisfied with the party’s performance in the bypolls, as it has succeeded in snatching away Hangal seat from the BJP, while improving its performance in Sindgi, where it was in the third spot after 2018 assembly polls.

RAJASTHAN

Congress swept the Rajasthan bypolls with Congress candidate Preeti Shaktawat winning the Vallabhnagar Assembly seat by a margin of 20,606 votes.

The party was earlier declared to have won the Dhariawad assembly seat with 18,725 votes. Congress candidate Nagraj Meena has won the Dhariawad assembly seat in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district by a margin of 18,725 votes. Meena defeated his nearest rival and Independent candidate Thawarchand, according to the result declared by the Election Commission.

Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra on Tuesday said the results of the Assembly bypolls have indicated that his party’s government in the state is doing a “good job” and will return to power in the 2023 elections. “This is a direct message that there is no anti-government wave and its popularity has increased. Our government is doing a good job and the Congress will form government in Rajasthan again in 2023,” Dotasra said. BJP accepted defeat in the bypolls, with the party’s state chief Satish Poonia saying it was “circumstantial” and depended on “local equations”.

MAHARASHTRA

The Congress on Tuesday retained the Deglur (SC) assembly constituency in Maharashtra’s Nanded district with party nominee Jitesh Raosaheb Antapurkar defeating his nearest BJP rival Subhash Pirajirao Sabne by a margin of 41,917 votes in the byelection, as per the Election Commission. Jitesh Antapurkar polled 1,08,840 votes while Sabne, a former Shiv Sena leader, could bag 66,907 votes. Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi candidate Uttam Ramrao Ingole has polled 11,348 votes. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Jitesh’s father and sitting Congress MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar.

TELANGANA

Former cabinet minister and BJP leader Eatala Rajender on Tuesday won the Huzurabad Assembly seat. BJP’s Eatala Rajender defeated his nearest rival, TRS’ Gellu Srinivas Yadav by a margin of 23,855 votes in the Huzurabad Assembly seat. While Rajender bagged 1,07,022 votes, Yadav got 83,167 votes. Meanwhile, Congress’ Balmoor Venkat Narsing Rao managed to get only 3,014 votes. Huzurabad seat fell vacant after former health minister Eatala Rajender resigned from ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and joined the BJP. Reacting to BJP’s win in the Telangana bypolls, Union Minister and BJP leader G. Kishan Reddy said that despite the ruling TRS spending hundreds of crores of rupees on the election, people of Huzurabad voted for the BJP.

MEGHALAYA

The National People’s Party (NPP) wrested Rajabala and Mawryngkneng seats from the Congress, while the United Democratic Party, a partner in the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, emerged victorious in Mawphlang, Chief Electoral Officer F.R. Kharkongor said. “The people have made their choice by ensuring victory for our candidates Sh. Abdus Saleh in Rajabala constituency and Sh. Pyniaid Sing Syiem in Mawryngkneng constituency. This is a victory of our people. My gratitude to all those who contributed in this big win! Long live NPP!,” Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said on Twitter. “People are aware of the development activities undertaken by our government. Today’s results indicate that people want development,” he said.

ANDHRA PRADESH

The ruling YSR Congress on Tuesday retained the Badvel (SC) assembly seat in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh in the bye-election, securing a record margin of 90,533 votes, in a rather one-sided contest. YSRC’s Dasari Sudha trounced BJP’s Panathala Suresh. She polled 1,12,211 votes (76.25 per cent), while her rival secured only 21,678 (14.73 per cent). Of the 2,15,292 total votes in the constituency, 68.38 per cent were polled. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting legislator Venkata Subbaiah in March. The YSRC fielded his widow Sudha for the bypoll and she won by a record margin, though it fell short of the party’s target of one lakh.

DADRA AND NAGAR HAVELI LS SEAT

Shiv Sena candidate Kalaben Delkar on Tuesday won the by-election to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha seat with a comfortable margin of 51,269 votes, EC officials said. While Kalaben Delkar (50), wife of former independent MP Mohan Delkar whose death necessitated the bypoll, garnered 1,18,035 votes, her closest rival, BJP’s Mahesh Gavit, bagged 66,766 votes. MP Sanjay Raut hailed the victory as, “First step outside Maharashtra, giant leap towards Delhi via Dadra Nagar Haveli.”

Congress candidate Mahesh Dhodi finished third with 6,150 votes. The Congress and the Shiv Sena are ruling allies in Maharashtra, but they fought the bypoll separately. Counting of votes was held in Silvassa city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli district, which is part of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

MIZORAM

The ruling Mizo National Front’s K. Laldawngliana won the Tuirial assembly seat in Mizoram with over 39 per cent of the votes against his nearest opponent Laltlanmawia of the Zoram People’s Movement.

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‘Shameful that atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits continue today’, says Anupam Kher

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Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher on Tuesday condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit by a terrorist in the Kashmir Valley.

“Shameful that atrocities on Kashmiri Pandits continue today. They’re killing even their own people. They are killing everyone who stands with India. This has been happening for the past 30 years. The more you condemn it, the less it’s. We’ll have to change the mindset,” Kher said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead at an apple orchard in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists. In the Chotipara area, the incident took place.

Meanwhile, the deceased have been identified as Sunil Kumar Bhar and his brother Pintu who sustained injuries.

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Moreover in June 2022, a bank manager named Vijay Kumar has shot dead and on 31 May a female Hindu teacher, Rajni Bala was shot dead by terrorists in the Kulgam district.

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Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MK Stalin is on a two-day visit to Delhi. Stalin arrived in Delhi on Tuesday. He will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

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In New Delhi on Tuesday, the state BJP core committee and the party’s national leadership discussed the adjustments.

The conference was called after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar severed his ties with the BJP in Bihar and formed the Grand Alliance led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal this month.

The local leadership, according to BJP leaders, was not seen with the same satisfaction as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. By the second week of September, when the party’s Bihar chief Sanjay Jaiswal’s term ends, the state organisation should have undergone reform. The [Tuesday] meeting’s agenda included choosing a new Bihar BJP president and a formidable opposition leader, according to a BJP leader who asked to remain anonymous.

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