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himachal pradesh: BJP defeats in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan cast shadow on its better performance in other states | India News

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NEW DELHI: Few months away from assembly polls in five states including the most populous Uttar Pradesh, the BJP on Tuesday had a mixed bag of results in the by polls for three Lok sabha seats and 23 assembly seats spread across 13 states and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with the severe setbacks in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh triggering talks of changes in the organization and leadership of the two states concerned.
Defeats in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan cast a shadow on party’s clean sweep of by-elections in Assam and the north east, an odd-defying victory in Telangana, successes in Bihar and MP and a better-than expected performance in alliance with Dushyant Chautala in Ellenabad in Haryana where it has been relentlessly targeted by protesting farmers.
Rajya Sabha MP and BJP chief spokesperson Anil Baluni said the by-poll results indicate his party’s expansion across the country as it has consolidated its presence in north east and has also won in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
“Party’s mass base under the leadership of prime minister Narendra Modi is expanding steadily… We have won in Assam, other north east states, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telengana and Bihar,” Baluni said and added that almost half of the seats, where by polls were held, had been won by the party. He, however, said the party’s performance in states like West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have not been as per expectations, which will be reviewed by the party leadership.
The BJP not only lost the two bypolls in Rajasthan, its candidates stood third and fourth in the Dhariawad and Vallabhnagar segments. The embarrassment contrasted starkly with party’s smart performance in the panchayat polls and civil polls and instantly trained the spotlight on former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s differences with her factional rivals like state unit chief Satish Punia, as well as central leadership’s reluctance to settle the issue one way or the other. Vasundhara Raje has been inactive since her defeat in the assembly polls.
Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur was under adverse spotlight after the party lost the by-poll for Mandi Lok Sabha and the three assembly seats. In the by-poll for Mandi Lok Sabha seat , which fell vacant after the death of BJP’s Ramswaroop Sharma, party’s candidate, Kargil hero Kushal Thakur lost narrowly to Congress’s Pratibha Singh, wife of the former CM Virbhandra Singh who died in July.
During the run up the party had appeared apprehensive because of the respect that the late CM enjoyed across the spectrum.
However, the party also lost the Jubbal -Kotakhai assembly seat to Congress which also held on to Fatehpur and Arki. The result can revive demand for the replacement of Thakur who was entrusted with the reins because of the shock defeat of the CM candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal. Thakur, according to reports, blamed the setback on price rise. However, this may not save him from coming under intense scrutiny because Dhumal loyalists were, in any case, arrayed against him and because the national party chief J P Nadda also belongs to Himachal Pradesh.
The party, however, drew comfort from its victory in Telangana where its candidate, Eatala Rajender, a popular finance minister who crossed over from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti, prevailed in a contest which had seen the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao pulling out all stops. Coming after its strong performance in the Hyderabad civic polls, the victory will strongly help consolidate BJP as the main opponent, much to Congress’s detriment.
Party scored off Congress also in Madhya Pradesh where it retained the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat and wrested Joba from its chief opponent. The victory comes as a respite for Shivraj Singh Chauhan who is having to deal with dissidence.
In Haryana’s Ellenabad, it should be pleased with the performance of its ally deputy CM Dushyant Singh Chautala’s JJP who squared off against his estranged uncle Abhay Chautala and grandfather Om Prakash Chautala. Although Abhay Chautala regained the seat, the only one he had won in the assembly polls , he had quit to express solidarity with farm protests, his margin dipped significantly. Congress finished third.
BJP’s ally JDU’s success in the two by-elections in Bihar came against arch rival Lalu Prasad who had personally campaigned. The challenge helped consolidate NDA ranks and the result will insulate the NDA coalition against an aggressive RJD.
Although BJP and congress won one each of assembly polls in Karnataka, the defeat of the BJP candidate in Hangal assembly bypoll came as a face loss for CM Basavaraj Bommai as the constituency falls in his home constituency.
BJP’s Ramesh Bhusanur won the Sindagi seat while in Hangal, which is in CM’s home district Haveri, Congress candidate Srinivas Mane won.



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