In Big Win For Opposition BJP Loses UP Kairana 

By-elections Results to four Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly constituencies, including Kairana, Bhandara-Gondiya, Palghar, will be declared today.

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

The by-election in Kairana — BJP won a seat in 2014 — was seen as testing ground for a broader opposition unity ahead of the 2019 elections. A candidate of Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, Tabassum Begum, had the backing of the Congress, Samajwadi Party and Dalit power house Mayawati.

In Bihar, from the ruling Janata Dal United, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal wrested the Jokihat assembly seat. 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.

In Meghalaya Ampati, the Congress has won– a victory that has made it the state’s single largest party and is expected to lend force to its claim of getting a shot at government formation.

The BJP retained Uttarakhand’s Tharali, pushing up its numbers in the 70-member state assembly to 57.

In Kerala, where the CPM and the Congress are at loggerheads, the Left party retained the Chengannur seat, wrested two years ago.

While, the Congress wrested Punjab’s Shahkot from BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal,. regional party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha retained Silli and Gomia.

The party was in race against ally Janata Dal Secular. Where assembly elections were put on hold earlier this year after the discovery of hundreds of voter ID cards from a flat in Bengaluru, the Congress also retained Karnataka’s Rajarajeshwarinagar.

The Trinamool Congress is ahead in Bengal’s Maheshtala, a seat it held. But the by-poll result will be significant in terms vote share, where it is keen on getting a toehold ahead of 2019 general elections, as the BJP expects to shore up its vote count in a state.

The Election Commission, which blamed the malfunction partly on the heat, has ruled it out. Amid widespread failure of voting machines in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra during Monday’s election, opposition leaders like Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Praful Patel of the NCP, had renewed their pitch for using ballot papers in the 2019 polls.

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