No surprises in by-election results in six States

NEW DELHI: There were no surprises in the by-elections to Bangaon Lok Sabha seat and Assembly seats held across six States as they were retained by political parties that held them earlier.

The surprise element, if any, lay only in the margins of victory of the winning candidates. Trinamool Congress won the Bangaon LS as well as Krishnaganj Assembly seat while BJP won two (Mukhed in Maharashtra and Panaji in Goa), AIADMK (Srirangam in Tamil Nadu), Telugu Desam (Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh) and Congress (Liromoba in Arunachal Pradesh).

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was a much relieved person after her party retained Bangaon Lok Sabha and the Krishnaganj Assembly seats in West Bengal. Her party was in a state of siege as her close supporters found themselves caught in a vortex of criminal cases surrounding the Sarada chit fund scam.

Some senior leaders have already been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as part of its probe into the scam while others have crossed over to the BJP. What should bring her cheer is the TMC’s success in halting the BJP’s surge and pouring cold water on the latter’s bid to wrest power in the Assembly elections in West Bengal due in 2016.

TMC candidate Mamata Thakur defeated her nearest CPI (M) rival from Bangaon LS by comfortable margin of 2.11 lakh votes while Satyajit Biswas triumphed over the BJP nominee in Krishnaganj by 37,000 votes. The CPI (M) stood a distant third in the Assembly bypoll.

AIADMK retained the Srirangam Assembly seat held earlier by party general secretary J. Jayalalithaa with a convincing margin of 96,515 votes.  Party candidate S. Valarmathi defeated the DMK nominee who polled 55,046 votes against 1,51,561 polled by her.  The vacancy was caused by the disqualification of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister following her conviction in criminal cases.

Panaji in Goa which was represented by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar until his resignation was retained by the BJP. The party candidate Sidharth Sripad Kuncalienker trounced his nearest Congress rival by a majority of 5,368 votes. This is considered a big margin in Goa where the constituencies are small in size and where the Congress candidate polled just 5,368 votes.

The Telugu Desam Party had a cakewalk from Tirupati Assembly seat where the by-election was caused by the death of its MLA M. Venkataramana. His widow Ms. M. Sugunamma won the seat by a massive margin of 1.16 lakh votes over her Congress rival R. Sreedevi who lost her deposit as she polled just 9,628 votes. The anti-Congress mood as well as the sympathy factor worked in favour of the TDP candidate.

BJP’s Tushar Rathod easily won the Mukhed seat in Maharashtra raising the party’s strength to 122 in the 288-member Assembly. The Congress party’s sole success came from Arunachal Pradesh where it retained the Liromoba seat. Its candidate Nyamar Karbak defeated his BJP rival by a slender margin of 119 votes.

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