New Delhi, June 15: The Congress Friday faced a humiliating defeat in Andhra Pradesh by-polls where the YSR Congress bagged the Nellore Lok Sabha and 15 of the 18 assembly seats, but recorded a win in Kerala.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) allies Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Trinamool Congress won by-polls in Maharashtra and West Bengal, respectively — the latter also stunning the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh by winning its first seat in the state.
In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK won the Pudukottai by-poll while Tripura’s Left Front retained the Nalchar assembly constituency.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), formed by Jaganmohan Reddy, the son of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy — popularly known as YSR, swept the polls in Andhra. The Congress finished a poor second with two seats, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) drew a blank, and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the lone assembly seat that went to polls in Telangana.
The by-elections were held after the resignation of a MP and disqualification of 17 legislators of the Congress who had switched loyalties to the YSRCP.
Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy of the YSRCP retained Nellore Lok Sabha seat, defeating former central minister T. Subbarami Reddy of the Congress.
The Congress, however, had reason to cheer in Kerala, where it won the Neyattinkara by-election.
The Congress’s R. Selvaraj, who was trailing third as counting began, stole a march over his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rivals and finally emerged victor.
Selvaraj, a former CPI-M legislator who had resigned from the party to join the Congress, beat CPI-M’s F. Lawerence
In a jolt to senior Maharashtra BJP leader Gopinath Munde in his home district Beed, the NCP Friday retained the Kej assembly seat, with Prithviraj Sathe overcoming BJP’s Sangeet Thombre by a margin of around 8,500 votes.
The election was necessitated by the death of former health minister and senior NCP woman leader Vimal Mundada two months ago.
In West Bengal, the Trinamool retained the Daspur and Bankura assembly seats but saw its winning margin come down.
In Bankura constituency in Bankura district, Trinamool’s Minati Mishra humbled her nearest rival Nilanjan Dasgupta of CPI-M, while her party colleague, Mamata Bhunia was elected from Daspur in West Midnapore district, defeating CPI-M’s Samar Mukherjee.
The assembly constituencies fell vacant following the deaths of sitting members Ajit Bhunia and Kashinath Mishra – the husbands of the two Trinamool candidates.
The Trinamool, however, pulled a shock win in Uttar Pradesh where its Shyam Sundar Sharma won the Mant seat in Mathura, defeating his nearest rival Yogesh Nuahwar of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The Samajwadi Party candidate Sanjay Lathar, a close aide of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, came a poor third.
The AIADMK increased its tally in Tamil Nadu assembly to 115 with its candidate Karthik Thondaiman winning the Pudukottai by-election, defeating N. Jahir Hussain of DMDK.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of Communist Party of India legislator S.P. Muthukumaran in a road accident in April.
It was a straight fight between the AIADMK and the DMDK after the DMK and the CPI decided to boycott the poll.
Eight months ahead of the assembly polls in Tripura, the ruling CPI-M Friday retained the Nalchar seat, while increasing its victory margin.
CPI-M candidate Tapan Chandra Das defeated Congress’s Dwijendralal Majumder by a margin of 4,777 votes.