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By-election Results: Jubilation for BJP, Breather for Congress, Humiliation for AAP

In Delhi, where municipal polls are around the corner, the AAP faced humiliation as the BJP scored a handsome victory with a margin of 14,000 votes from the nearest rival.

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Updated:April 13, 2017, 11:29 PM IST
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By-election Results: Jubilation for BJP, Breather for Congress, Humiliation for AAP
In a Big Win For The BJP, The Party Wrested The Rajouri Garden Seat From The AAP. (Photo Credits - PTI)

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party being reduced to a No. 3 player in Delhi’s Rajouri Garden and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah defying not just anti-incumbency but a far more potent force — the Narendra Modi-led BJP juggernaut — in Nanjangud and Gundlupet, were among the surprises thrown by the results of by-elections held across eight states. In line with the wider national narrative, the BJP either won or was comfortably leading in five out of 10 seats on Thursday.

In Delhi, where municipal polls are around the corner, the AAP faced humiliation as the BJP scored a handsome victory with a margin of 14,000 votes from the nearest rival. The interesting part was that the Congress regained some of its lost ground, proving that it should not be taken lightly in the race for MCD.

The Rajouri Garden bypoll was being seen as an indicator of people’s mood ahead of the MCD polls on April 23. The worst news for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is that his party candidate lost deposit as he got only 14% of the votes.

Majinder Singh Sirsa, a joint candidate of BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal, said the poll result was the beginning of “an end of the AAP in Delhi”.

Trying to put up a brave face, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said, “AAP’s loss in Rajouri bypoll won’t impact MCD elections.”

While Delhi gave only some respite to Congress, Nanjangud and Gundlupet seats in Karnataka gave it a reason to cheer in an otherwise depressing season of repeated electoral defeats. The bypolls here were seen as a battle of ego between CM Siddaramaiah and BS Yeddyurappa, BJP’s tallest leader in the state. Even though Yeddyurappa himself campaigned in both the seats, the voters gave a thumbs up to Congress.

“We bow our heads and accept the decision of the people,” Yeddyurappa told reporters after the results were announced. But this is only going to make BJP’s campaign more aggressive here ahead of the Assembly polls due in May 2018.

Nanjangud is in Siddaramaiah’s home district of Mysuru, which was vacant after his close aide V Srinivas Prasad quit the party to join BJP. Gundlupet seat was vacant after the death of Mahadeva Prasad, a minister. His wife Gita Mahadeva Prasad defeated BJP’s CS Niranjan Kumar.

The results will not only boost Siddaramaiah’s profile in Congress, some of his opponents within the state unit are likely to be silenced.

In Himachal Pradesh, where Assembly polls are due later this year, BJP won the Bhoranj seat from Congress, in a setback for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

“This is a big win for us. We are on track to win 60 seats in Assembly polls,” said Anurag Thakur, senior BJP MP who is also being seen by many as the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

In some of the predictable results, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje-led BJP won Dholpur seat in Rajasthan. Similarly, the party was leading in Litipara in Jharkhand and Dhemaji in Assam. In Madhya Pradesh’s Ater Congress pulled of a victory and in Bandhavgarh seat the BJP candidate won with a handsome margin.

In Kanthi Dakshin, West Bengal, while Trinamool Congress won comfortably, the interesting trend here was the strong show of BJP. The Left candidate was a distant third.

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