GUWAHATI: Proving that it is well and truly on a roll in the Northeast, the BJP on Tuesday won three of the five seats in the by-elections in the region.
In one of the two seats in Tripura, the party managed to give a scare to the state’sruling Left Front by emerging second.
The by-polls were held in Assam’s Lakhimpur (parliamentary) and Baithalangso seats, Arunachal’s Hayuliang seat and Tripura’s Barjala and Khowai seats.
In the Lakhimpur seat, which was lying vacant following Sarbananda Sonowal’s election to Assam assembly from Majuli and his subsequent appointment as chief minister in May, BJP’s Pradan Baruah
defeated his nearest rival Hema Hari Prasanna Pegu, a doctor, of the Congress by 1,90,219 votes. Baruah polled 5,51,663 votes as against 3,61,444 by Pegu.
In Baithalangso, BJP’s Mansing Rongpi defeated Congress’s Rupansing Ronghang by a margin of 16,600 votes. Rongpi garnered 72,160 votes and Ronghang got 55,560 votes. Rongpi had won the last poll on
Congress’s ticket but resigned two months later to wear saffron. Following his victory, the BJP’s tally in he
126-member Assam House has gone up to 61 from 60.
In the Hayuliang seat, it was a straight contest between BJP’s Dasanglu Pul, wife of former Arunachal Chief Minister the late Kalikho Pul, and an independent Yompi Kri. Dasanglu won by a margin of 942
votes. She polled 5,326 votes as against 4,384 by Kri. The by-election was necessitated as Pul had allegedly committed suicide.
Following Dasanglu’s win, the BJP’s tally in the 60-member Arunachal Assembly has risen to 12 from 11.
In Tripura, the CPM frustrated the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) by retaining the Barjala and Khowai seats.
In Barjala, CPM’s Jhumu Sarkar won by a margin of 3,374 votes over the BJP candidate SM Das. Sarkar and Das polled 15,769 and 12,395 votes respectively.
In the Khowai seat, CPM’s Biswajit Datta defeated his nearest rival Manoj Das of the TMC by 16,094 votes. Datta polled 24,810 votes as against 8,716 by Das.
The BJP, which has its presence in the coalition governments of Assam, Arunachal and Nagaland, has set its sights on Manipur, where it has two MLAs, and Tripura. Assembly election in Manipur is due next year. Tripura will go to polls in 2018.