Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD Sweeps Bihar Bypolls; Cong’s Jayashri Jadhav Wins Kolhapur Battle

The battle for five bypolls on Saturday was dominated by Bengal where the Trinamool Congress won big in the Asansol and Ballygunge seats. Actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha, the TMC’s candidate from Asansol, won the by-election by a huge margin, registering the party’s first-ever electoral victory in the constituency. In the Ballygunge Assembly segment, Trinamool’s Babul Supriyo, who switched from the BJP, emerged a winner.

While Bengal may have been decided, News18 takes a look at bypolls in other states and the situation of the candidates there:

BIHAR

The Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has won Bihar’s Bochahan Assembly segment with a margin of over 36,000 votes. The Bochahan assembly seat, reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates, in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district fell vacant after the death of MLA Musafir Paswan who had won on the ticket of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahani. Sahani initially wanted to field the former MLA’s son Amar Paswan, but the latter switched to RJD and has now won. Mukesh Sahani later fielded Gita Devi who finished a distant third. The BJP’s Baby Kumari, who had defeated heavyweight candidate Ramai Ram in 2015, finished second by a margin of over 36,000 votes.

Around 59.20 per cent of 2,90,544 voters had exercised their franchise in the by-election to the assembly segment on April 12.

MAHARASHTRA

In Maharashtra’s Kolhapur, Congress’s Jayashri Jadhav sealed an easy win over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the by-election to the Kolhapur (North) assembly segment. Jayashri Jadhav is the wife of Chandrakant Jadhav, a local entrepreneur who won the seat in the 2019 assembly elections. Chandrakant died in December last year due to Covid-19 related complications, necessitating the by-election on Tuesday.

Kolhapur (North) has long been considered a Shiv Sena stronghold but Chandrakant Jadhav breached the Sena’s bastion in 2019 when he defeated its two-term lawmaker Rajesh Kshirsagar. It was only after the 2019 elections that the Shiv Sena and the Congress stitched a new coalition with the Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, or MVA.

The result comes as a jolt for state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, who represents Pune’s Kothrud in the assembly but hails from Kolhapur and led the BJP offensive. The defeat in his home district could affect Patil’s clout in the state BJP.

CHHATTISGARH

The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh won by-election to the Khairagarh assembly constituency in Rajnandgaon district and maintained its winning streak in bypolls in the state. Congress’ Yashoda Verma won by a margin of 20,176 votes against her nearest rival Komal Janghel of the BJP, a poll official said.

Verma got 87,879 votes while Janghel secured 67,703 votes, he said. Narendra Soni, the nominee of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), could get only 1,222 votes. Byelection was held on April 12 following the death of incumbent JCC (J) MLA and former MP Devvrat Singh in November 2021.

With the victory, the strength of Congress in the 90-member Assembly went up to 71. The opposition BJP suffered a fourth successive defeat at the hands of Congress in assembly bypolls held after the 2018 elections in the state.

(with inputs from agencies)

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