Assembly Polls: BJP Set for Record Win in Gujarat; Loses Himachal Pradesh to Congress
New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was set for a record win in Gujarat, leading in 156 seats, beating the record of the Congress party’s Madhavsinh Solnaki who had won 149 seats in the 182-member House in 1985. Congress, on its part, has put up its poorest show ever in the western state, leading in only 17 seats.
However, there was some bad news for BJP, which lost its government in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh to the Congress, which was leading in 40 out of the 68-member House.
The Congress, on the other hand, was poised for its worst-ever performance in the state as it has won on nine seats and was leading on just eight others.
The new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won four Assembly seats so far and was leading on one in Gujarat, while it failed to open its account in Himachal Pradesh.
In Ahmedabad, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel defeated his nearest rival Amee Yagnik of the Congress in the Ghatlodia seat in Ahmedabad city by a record margin of 1.92 lakh votes.
Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia won from Porbandar, while the party's tribal leader Anant Patel emerged victorious in Vansda in Navsari district.
AAP’s CM face Isudan Gadhvi lost the election from the Khambhalia seat.
The BJP till 6 p.m had received 52.50% of the votes counted in Gujarat, while the Congress was at distant second at 27.3% vote share followed by the AAP at 12.91%.
In Himachal Pradesh, as per the results and trends available till 6 p.m, the Congress won 40 seats and was leading in one, while BJP a win on 21 seats and was leading in four. Three Independents also emerged victorious.
The AAP, which had contested 67 seats, failed to open its account.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi thanked the people of Himachal Pradesh for the "decisive win" of his party and assured them that every promise made by the party will be fulfilled.
On Gujarat, Gandhi tweeted: "We humbly accept the mandate of the people of Gujarat. We will reorganize, work hard and continue fighting for the ideals of the country as well as the rights of the people of the state."
HP Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said he respected the mandate of the people and submitted his resignation to the governor.
"We will give constructive support rising above partisan politics but where we feel interests of the state have not been protected, we will raise the issues before people," Thakur said and expressed the hope that the new government will fulfil its promises.
The BJP gave the slogan of "Raj nahin, riwaaj badlega", which translates to "the convention will change, not the government", but failed to buck the trend. Himachal Pradesh has not voted any incumbent government to power since 1985.
The Congress had promised to bring back the old pension scheme and provide jobs to the youth among other things in its campaign in the hill state
Jai Ram Thakur was leading over his nearest Congress rival from the former's Seraj seat in Mandi district. However, many of his ministers including Suresh Bhardwaj, Ram Lal Markanda and Surveen Chaudhary lost the election.
Former Union minister Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma of the BJP retained his Mandi Sadar seat defeating his rival from the Congress.
Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh's son and sitting Congress MLA from Shimla (Rural) Vikramaditya Singh retained his seat by defeating his nearest rival Ravi Kumar Mehta of the BJP by 13,860 votes.
For the Congress, a victory in Himachal Pradesh is much needed for a revival as it has been battered by a spate of electoral losses in the last few years, the worst being in Gujarat.
In the lone Lok Sabha bye-election in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri, which fell vacant after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death, his daughter-in-law Dimpel Yadav won with a thumping margin of over 2.8 lakh votes, defeating her nearest rival Raghuraj Singh Shakya of BJP.
In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam Singh Yadav had won the Mainpuri seat by defeating BJP candidate Prem Singh Shakya with a margin of over 94,000 votes. The SP had contested the 2019 elections with the BSP.
BJP candidate Shakya even lost in his Daulpur booth by 187 votes.
While Dimple Yadav secured 6,18,120 votes (64.08%), Shakya received 3,29,659 votes (34.18%).
In Khatauli Assembly bypoll, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, backed by SP, wrested the seat from the ruling BJP, with its candidate Madan Bhaiya defeating his BJP rival Rajkumari Saini by a margin of over 22,000 votes.
Madan Bhaiya polled 97,071 votes, while Saini received 74,996, according to the Election Commission.
Saini is the wife of former BJP MLA Vikram Singh, whose disqualification from the state Assembly following his conviction in a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case necessitated the bypoll.
In Rampur Sadar Assembly constituency, the stronghold of SP leader Azam Khan, where polling was very low amid allegations of voter intimidation, the BJP won for the first time as its candidate Akash Saxena defeated his nearest SP rival Asim Raja.
Bypoll to the Rampur Sadar seat, considered an Azam Khan stronghold, was necessitated after the SP leader was sentenced to three years in jail in a hate speech case, and subsequently disqualified as MLA.
In Rajasthan, Congress' Anil Sharma defeated BJP's Ashok Kumar Pincha by a margin of 26,850 votes in Sardarshahar Assembly bypoll, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot terming it "people's seal on his government's good governance and public welfare schemes".
The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) candidate Lalchand Moond came third. A total of 10 candidates were in the fray. Sharma got 91,357 votes, Pincha 64,505 and Moond 46,753 votes.
This is the 10th time the Congress won the seat since Independence. The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of senior Congress leader and MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma.
In Odisha’s Padampur Assembly seat, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday steamrolled to a convincing victory, as its candidate Barsha Singh Bariha won by a margin of 42,679 votes, defeating the BJP’s Pradip Purohit.
After the end of the 23rd round of counting, Bariha secured a total 1,20,807 votes, while Purohit bagged 78,128 votes, the Election Commission said.
Barsha is the daughter of late MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha whose death in October necessitated the bypoll.
In Chhattisgarh’s Bhanupratappur Assembly seat, the ruling Congress retained the seat by defeating BJP.
With this, the opposition BJP has suffered a fifth successive defeat at the hands of the ruling Congress in the Assembly bypolls held after the 2018 Chhattisgarh elections.
Congress candidate Savitri Mandavi won the bypoll by a margin of 21,171 votes against her nearest rival Brahmanand Netam of the BJP, a poll official here said.
Mandavi polled 65,479 votes, while the BJP's Netam secured 44,308 votes, he said.
Former IPS officer Akbar Ram Korram, who contested as an independent, gave a spirited fight and polled 23,417 votes.
The bye-election was necessitated due to the death of sitting Congress MLA Manoj Singh Mandavi. The grad old party had fielded his wife.
In Bihar’s Kurhani, BJP wrested the Assembly seat from ruling Mahagathbandhan, where its candidate Kedar Prasad Gupta defeated Manoj Singh Kushwaha of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) by 3,645 votes.
In the cliffhanger of a contest, Gupta polled 76,653 votes while Kushwaha finished with 73,008 votes. The by-election was necessitated by the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani. The RJD is a constituent of the Mahagathbandhan.
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