NEW DELHI:It is risky to read too much into by-election results of any kind, be it Assembly or parliamentary; but a few pointers can be underlined about the results of the just-concluded Assembly by-polls for seven seats in six states. The BJP has won in four out of the seven while the TRS, RJD and Shiv Sena (Thackeray faction) have won one each. The Congress has drawn a blank.
The results indicate that the BJP’s election machine is still going strong. The party has not only retained its seats in Bihar, UP and Odisha, it has grabbed an extra seat in Haryana. In Odisha, the BJP has been trying to emerge as a serious challenger to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose party, the BJD, has been a winner since 1998. It was expected to win this time also, but it didn’t.
In Telangana, although the BJP candidate lost the election in Munugode, the narrow margin showed that the party was emerging as principal challenger to the TRS. Its candidate Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy was a Congress MLA who had defected to the BJP. The Congress could not save its deposit.
In Maharashtra, the victory of the Siva Sena (Thackeray faction) was facilitated by the BJP withdrawing its candidate.
While the BJP has reasons to be happy, the results show that the Congress has not learnt any lesson. It lost both the seats in Adampur (Haryana) and Munugode (Telangana).
Munugode should be more worrisome for the party as Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ recently passed through Telangana. The BJP has been leaving no stone unturned in Telangana to replace the Congress as the main Opposition.
The by-elections have once again proved that the BJP under Modi is always in an election mode and it fights every election with a gladiatorial instinct.