NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday thanked people for expressing “continued faith” in the BJP after the party scored victories in bypolls in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh besides doing well in West Bengal and Tripura.
In Bengal, the ruling TMC swept the bypolls and registered a landslide victory in the two Lok Sabha seats and one Assembly seat. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claimed the victory was a result of public ire against demonetisation and said the party will launch district and panchayat-level agitations in Bengal from Wednesday against the move.
In MP, the BJP which is in power, retained Shahdol Lok Sabha and Nepanagar Assembly seats, defeating the Congress which had highlighted the demonetisation issue. However, compared to the 2014 LS polls, the BJP’s victory margin in Shahdol fell by nearly 2 lakh votes.
Meanwhile, proving that it is well and truly on a roll in the Northeast, the BJP won three of the five seats in the bypolls in the region. In one of Tripura’s two seats, the party even managed to give a scare to the State’s ruling Left Front by emerging second.
In Assam’s Lakhimpur LS seat, lying vacant after Sarbananda Sonowal’s appointment as chief minister in May, BJP’s Pradan Baruah defeated his nearest Congress rival by 1,90,219 votes. In Baithalangso Assembly seat, BJP’s Mansing Rongpi defeated Congress’s Rupansing Ronghang by a margin of 16,600 votes. Rongpi had won the last poll on Congress’s ticket but resigned two months later and joined the BJP.
Following his victory, the BJP’s tally in the 126-member Assam Assembly has gone up to 61.
In Arunachal’s Hayuliang Assembly seat, it was a straight contest between BJP’s Dasanglu Pul, wife of former Arunachal Chief Minister Kalikho Pul, and independent Yompi Kri. Dasanglu won by a margin of 942 votes. The bypoll was necessitated as Pul had allegedly committed suicide. Following Dasanglu’s win, the BJP’s tally in the 60-member Assembly has risen to 12. In Tripura, the ruling CPM retained the Barjala and Khowai Assembly seats. In Barjala, the BJP finished a close second.
The BJP, which has a presence in the coalition governments of Assam, Arunachal and Nagaland, has now set its sights on Manipur, where it has two MLAs, and Tripura. Assembly polls in Manipur are due next year. Tripura will go to polls in 2018.
Meanwhile, in Bengal, TMC candidate Dibyendu Adhikari won by nearly 5 lakh votes in Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency.In the former CPM stronghold Manteswar, TMC candidate Saikat Panja won by a margin of 1 lakh votes. The party had won the Assembly seat for the first time by a slim margin of 706 votes in April 2016. In the Coochbehar LS seat, TMC’s Partha Pratim Ray won by a margin of around 4 lakh votes. Securing 3,81,133 votes, the BJP emerged runner-up in this north Bengal seat and made inroads by leading in two Assembly segments.