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Bypolls: Big win for TRS in Telangana; BJP pockets 4 seats

New Delhi: The BJP pocketed four seats in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, while the RJD retained the Mokama assembly seat in the bypolls to seven assembly constituencies in six states.

Of the four seats the BJP won, the party retained the Gopalganj seat in Bihar. The RJD held on to the Mokama seat on a day when by-election results to seven constituencies spread across six states – Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, UP, Maharashtra and Haryana – came out.

Munugode (Telangana)

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the high stakes bypoll in Munugode by over 10,000 votes. The BJP candidate Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy gave a tough fight to TRS’ Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy and it was a neck and neck race during the initial rounds of counting.

However, Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy managed to extend the lead and won by a convincing margin in the prestigious battle. The Congress failed to secure a deposit.

BJP’s candidate Raj Gopal Reddy has conceded defeat. He claimed that TRS won through illegal means.

“One returning officer was suspended for the first time in history. After the deadline, many TRS leaders remained in the assembly segment. Money was distributed on the polling day as well,” he alleged.

However, minister KT Rama Rao rejected the allegations of TRS using “unfair means” made by BJP candidate Rajagopal Reddy.

He hit back at the BJP by posing a series of questions: “Isn’t it true that Rs 1 crore seized by the police even before the by-election was notified was being brought into the constituency by a BJP leader from Karimnagar? Isn’t it true that Eatala Rajender’s PA K Srinivas was caught with Rs. 90 lakh? Isn’t it true that Dr. Vivek had transferred Rs. 2.5 crore through hawala route? Isn’t it true that Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy’s Sushee Infra had transferred Rs. 5.24 crore to Munugode voters? Isn’t it true that the BJP leaders brought pressure on the ECI to declare that there was no evidence to substantiate the charges made by the TRS?”

Mokama and Gopalganj (Bihar)

In Bihar, RJD candidate Neelam Devi won the Mokama seat by more than 16,000 votes.

The BJP retained the Gopalganj assembly seat with its candidate Kusum Devi, wife of MLA Subhash Singh whose death had necessitated the by-election, polling 70,032 votes, while RJD’s Mohan Gupta got 68,243.

Bihar saw the first electoral test for the Nitish Kumar-led ‘Mahagathbandhan’ government, formed less than three months ago after the JD(U) parted ways with the BJP.

The BJP contested from the Mokama constituency for the first time as the saffron party had, on previous occasions, left the seat to its allies.

A total of 619 polling booths were set up in the two constituencies. Fifteen candidates are in the fray — nine in Gopalganj and six in Mokama.

The Mokama seat fell vacant following the disqualification of RJD MLA Anant Singh after his conviction in an Arms Act case, while the by-election in Gopalganj was necessitated following the death of sitting BJP MLA Subhash Singh.

Mokama has been the stronghold of Anant Singh since 2005. He won the seat twice on JD(U) tickets.

Singh fought as an RJD candidate in the 2020 elections and retained the seat. But he was disqualified from the assembly following his conviction in the criminal case.

Andheri (East)/Mumbai

The Uddhav Thackeray faction bagged the Andheri (East) segment in Mumbai as the party candidate Rutuja Latke won by a massive margin of over 66,000 votes.

The BJP had withdrawn its candidate following appeals by several parties to back Rutuja Latke. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, both constituents of the MVA, have supported Rutuja Latke’s candidature.

The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Rutuja Latke’s husband and Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May.

Whatever, this victory is seen as a morale booster for Uddhav Thackeray after a BJP-backed coup led by Eknath Shinde split his Shiv Sena and unseated his government in Maharashtra.

Interestingly, as many as 7,556 votes were polled in favour of the NOTA option, leaving the six other independent candidates far behind. The NOTA gives an option to electors not to vote in favour of any of the candidates in an election.

Dhamnagar (Odisha)

The opposition BJP on Sunday retained the Dhamnagar assembly seat of Odisha in a bypoll, defeating the ruling BJD by a margin of 9,881, an Election Commission official said.

The bypoll was necessitated by the death of BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi in September.

Sethi’s son Suryabanshi Suraj, who was the party’s candidate, secured 80,351 votes, while BJD’s Abanti Das bagged 70,470 votes, the official said.

Congress nominee Baba Harekrushna Sethi got only 3,561 votes.

Gola Gokarannath (UP)

The BJP retained the Gola Gokarannath assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh with its candidate Aman Giri defeating his nearest rival and Samajwadi Party candidate by over 34,000 votes.

Counting started here at 8 am amid tight security arrangements. Returning Officer Anurag Singh said the counting is likely to be held in 32 rounds.

The November 3 Gokarannath assembly bypolls recorded a polling percentage of 57.35 per cent. Seven contestants were in the fray.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6. The BSP and the Congress kept away from the poll this time.

The main contest was between BJP’s Aman Giri, the son of Arvind Giri, and SP candidate and former Gola Gokarannath MLA Tiwari. The BJP’s campaign was led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Gola Gokarannath is part of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s Lakhimpur Kheri parliamentary constituency. Mishra has been in the eye of a storm following the killing of four farmers during violence in October last year. His son is an accused in the case.

Adampur (Haryana)

The BJP also won Adampur in Haryana with its candidate Bhavya Bishnoi defeating his nearest rival and Congress candidate Jai Prakash by a margin of around 16,000 votes.

With the win, former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s family has maintained its winning streak in the assembly segment. Bhavya is Bhajan Lal’s grandson.

The Adampur seat has been held by the Bhajan Lal family since 1968, with the late ex-chief minister representing it on nine occasions, his wife Jasma Devi once, and younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi on four occasions.

The by-election was necessitated after Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned as MLA from the seat and switched from the Congress to the BJP in August.