Congress DMK celebration in Erode East
DMK and Congress workers celebrate as DMK-backed Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan leads in Erode East bypolls in Tamil Nadu. Image: Twitter/ANI

Bypoll results in Tamil Nadu, Bengal bring cheer to Congress

Dejected by its poor show in the assembly poll results of Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya, the Congress had something to cheer in the bypoll results coming from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra on Thursday.

In Tamil Nadu’s Erode East constituency, DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance candidate and senior Congress leader EVKS Elangovan is headed towards a comfortable victory. Elangovan has taken an assailable lead of more than 51,000 votes over his nearest rival KS Thennarasu of AIADMK. The Erode (East) assembly constituency was vacated due to the passing away of its Congress MLA E Thirumahan Everaa.

Elated over the poll verdict, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin stated that the result was a sign of people’s overwhelming support to the Dravidian model government. He also claimed that the bypoll mandate has laid the foundation of DMK alliance’s victory in 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Also read: Erode East by-poll: Tamil Nadu’s voter freebie culture hits new high

In West Bengal, the Left Front-supported Congress candidate Bayron Biswas defeated his nearest TMC rival Debasish Banerjee, a distant cousin of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, by over 22,000 votes in Sagardighi bypoll. In Sagardighi, too, the exercise was necessitated due to the demise of its incumbent MLA, Subrata Saha, a TMC leader and Bengal minister. The bypoll result doesn’t augur well for the ruling TMC ahead of the panchayat elections in the state.

In Maharashtra too, the Congress got a major boost with the party wresting Kasba Peth assembly segment in Pune from the BJP which the latter held since 1995. Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar won the Kasba Peth assembly by-election by over 10,000 votes against BJP’s Hemant Rasane. In the bypoll to Chinchwad assembly segment, BJP’s Ashwini Jagtap is leading by over 32,000 votes while NCP’s Nana Kate and Independent candidate Rahul Kalate are trailing at the second and the third spot, respectively.

The Kasba Peth result is being seen as a major jolt to the Shiv Sena-BJP ruling alliance led by Eknath Shinde. The bypoll in Kasba Peth and Chinchwad seats were held on February 26 after the death of BJP MLAs Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap.

Also read: Assembly by-polls: 63% voting in Sagardighi, 62% in Ramgarh; 59% in Erode East

In Jharkhand, AJSU party candidate Sunita Choudhary was leading by 21,960 votes over her nearest Congress rival Bajrang Mahto in the Ramgarh by-election. AJSU, which has tied up with the BJP for the bypoll, got 82,482 votes, while Congress, an ally of the ruling JMM-led coalition, received 60,522 after the completion of the ninth round. The by-election was necessitated after the disqualification of Congress legislator Mamta Devi, following her conviction in a criminal case.

In Arunachal Pradesh, BJP candidate Tsering Lhamu won unopposed from the Lumla assembly seat in the Tawang district. The bypoll to the Lumla seat was necessitated after the demise of sitting BJP MLA Jambey Tashi. Tashi died in November 2022 at the age of 48. BJP fielded Tsering Lhamu, wife of Jambey Tashi, for the bypoll.

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