The Congress and the Samajwadi Party, which suffered a rout in the general elections, bounced back on Tuesday in the assembly by-elections in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. For the first time in 15 years, the BJP will now have its lawmaker in the West Bengal assembly.
In Gujarat, the BJP romped home in Vadodara Lok Sabha seat that was vacated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he also won from Varanasi parliamentary constituency. The Maninagar assembly seat, which Modi once represented, too saw a BJP victory. But, the Congress wrested three seats from the BJP, which retained six seats. In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) retained Nandigama assembly seat, while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) too retained Medak Lok Sabha seat in neighbouring Telangana.
In the northeast, the BJP was leading in an assembly seat in Assam, while the AIUDF won one seat and was leading in two assembly constituencies. An independent candidate won in Sikkim. Tripura saw the CPI-M candidate emerge victorious with a record margin.
Buoyed by the performance of the Samajwadi Party that won four seats and was leading in four constituencies, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said he was happy that the people of the state have reposed faith in his party and given a thumbs down to the "communal" politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"We are happy and thankful that people have preferred development and prosperity over false hopes and communal politics that BJP practised," he said. The SP has won from Sirathu, Hamirpur, Bijnore and Charkhari assembly constituencies and had a comfortable lead of over two lakh votes in Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency from where Tej Pratap Singh, grand-nephew of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, is the party candidate.
The BJP, which had won all the 11 seats in the 2012 state assembly elections, went down to just three as counting progressed. The party won the Saharanpur (City) state assembly seat while its candidates were leading convincingly in Lucknow (East) and Noida seats.
In Rajasthan, the Congress candidates won from Weir, Surajgarh and Nasirabad constituencies while the BJP's Sandeep Sharma was elected from the Kota South constituency. An upbeat Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan state president of the Congress, described his party bagging three seats as "a win of our party workers". "Despite the use of official machinery by the BJP, we have won. The BJP did nothing since it came to power and on the contrary it stopped the social welfare schemes...," said Pilot. Pilot said that the party is now looking forward to the municipal and panchayat polls in the state due in the next few months.
Kailash Nath Bhatt, Rajasthan state spokesperson of the BJP, however, said: "This result does not in any reflect on performance of the (Vasundhara) Raje government. It was fought more on local issues. Yes, the party will sit and introspect the results."