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Published On: Thu, May 31st, 2018

Saffron party headed for big upset in UP, Maharashtra

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33NEW DELHI : Opposition unity paid off in UP, with its candidate trouncing her BJP rival in Kairana, the most-watched seat in the by-polls held across 10 states on Monday.
The Samajwadi Party also wrested Noorpur from the BJP. Opposition parties have an edge in other states too, leading in three seats where they are pitted against the BJP or its allies and winning three.
The BJP has retained Maharashtra’s Palghar Lok Sabha seat – where it was in contest with estranged ally Shiv Sena – but trailing in Bhandara-Gondia, which it snatched from the NCP in 2014.

The BJP has managed to maintain its lead in Palghar Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra and its ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) is leading against Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Nagaland Lok Sabha bypoll. However, the saffron party has is headed for big upset in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana and Bhandara-Gondia seat of Maharashtra.
The by-election in Kairana — a seat BJP won in 2014 — is seen as a testing ground for opposition unity ahead of the 2019 elections. After sworn rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) came together to win bypolls to the BJP bastions of Gorakhpur and Phulpur earlier this year, the Congress and RLD have joined the bandwagon in Kairana.
In Bihar, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal wrested the Jokihat assembly seat from the ruling Janata Dal (U). As his candidate beat Nitish Kumar’s candidate by over 41,000 votes, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said the coming together of Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and the Congress has “helped” his party in Bihar.

The bypoll in Jokihaat was seen as a prestige battle for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after the sitting JD(U) lawmaker quit the party and joined the RJD after Mr Kumar joined hands with the BJP last year. The Congress has won in Meghalaya’s Ampati — a victory that has made it the state’s single largest party.

After 19 rounds of counting of votes in Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, Tabassum Hasan of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has got 3,81,361 votes while Mriganka Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has got 3,36,039 votes. The RLD candidate, backed in the byelections by opposition parties Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, is leading with 45,322 votes.

The bypolls in Kairana were necessitated after the seat fell vacant due to BJP leader Hukum Singh’s death. Bypolls to Maharashtra’s Palghar, a reserved seat, was necessitated following sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga’s death in January.
In Bhandara-Gondia the bye-election was necessitated after BJP’s sitting lawmaker Nana Patole joined Congress in December 2017. In Nagaland, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party was the representative of the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland. He quit in February to contest in the Assembly elections.
In Kerala, where the CPM and the Congress are at loggerheads, the Left party retained the Chengannur seat, wrested two years ago. Of the 10 assembly seats where by-polls were held, the Congress is ahead in Punjab’s Shahkot, Uttarakhand’s Tharali and Karnataka’s Rajarajeshwarinagar; and Trinamool Congress in Bengal’s Maheshtala. Regional party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha won Silli and is ahead in Gomia.
(With Agency Inputs ).



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