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BJP sweep in Assembly byelections

PHOTO: A.M. FARUQUI

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and State BJP president Prabhat Jha offering sweets to each other in Bhopal on Thursday after the BJP's victory in Kukshi and Sonkatch.

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday made a clean sweep of all the five assembly seats in party-ruled Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where bypolls were held, while the Trinamool Congress, with the tacit support of the BJP, emerged triumphant in one seat in Manipur.

In Jharkhand, Chief Minister Arjun Munda (BJP) defeated the Congress and Babulal Marandi's Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (P) alliance candidate Dasrath Gagrai.

The BJP wrested Kukshi and Sonkatch seats in Madhya Pradesh from the Congress. Both the seats were for long considered Congress strongholds. In Kukshi, BJP nominee Mukam Singh Kirade defeated rival Nisha Singhar by over 16,000 votes and in Sonkatch, BJP's Rajendra Verma won against Arjun Verma of the Congress by over 19,000 votes.

The party retained Gujarat's Khadia seat, its bastion for the last 25 years, when its candidate Bhushan Bhatt emerged victorious defeating Congress' Jagat Shukla.

In Chhattisgarh, ruling BJP's candidate Kumari Bai Sahu won Sanjari Balod seat beating her nearest rival Mohan Patel of the Congress by nearly 9,500 votes.

The electoral battle in Manipur's Konthoujam constituency saw Trinamool Congress candidate K. Sarat prevailing over Congress candidate S. Ranjan by 655 votes.

The TC candidate had the tacit support of the BJP and Manipur People's Party, a regional outfit.

An indicator: BJP

Reacting to bypoll results, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said they “show the way the wind is blowing,” while Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed sought to play it down by saying “in assembly polls, local factors decide results and this is no reflection of the national mood of voters.” — PTI

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