Opposition Alliance INDIA Edges BJP 4-3 in Key Assembly By-Elections

New Delhi, 8th September 2023: The results of the by-elections for seven assembly seats, held on Tuesday, have been revealed, with the newly formed opposition alliance, the ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’ (INDIA), narrowly defeating the BJP with a 4-3 lead. Out of the seven assembly seats up for grabs, four were secured by the opposition alliance INDIA, while three were captured by the BJP.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in the Dhanpur and Boxanagar assembly seats in Tripura, retaining the Bageshwar assembly seat in Uttarakhand. On the other hand, the ruling Trinamool Congress managed to claim the Dhupguri assembly seat in West Bengal from the BJP.

INDIA’s ally, JMM’s Baby Devi, also secured a win in Jharkhand’s Dumri assembly seat, defeating NDA candidate Yashoda Devi by over 17,000 votes. Meanwhile, the Congress party celebrated a landslide victory in Kerala’s Puthuppally assembly constituency. However, the most significant setback for the BJP came from the Ghosi assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh, where BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan suffered a substantial defeat to Samajwadi Party candidate Sudhakar Singh.

The counting of votes for the by-elections to seven seats across six states (Jharkhand, Kerala, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal) took place on Friday. These by-elections marked the first showdown between the BJP-led NDA alliance and the opposition alliance INDIA ahead of upcoming assembly elections in five states later this year. In this initial battle, the INDIA Alliance secured an advantage by winning four seats, while the BJP tasted defeat in several key constituencies.

The Samajwadi Party’s victory by a significant margin of 42,759 votes in the Ghosi bypoll in Uttar Pradesh was a major triumph for the INDIA alliance. This election was the first in UP after the formation of the opposition alliance, and it saw support not only from the SP but also from Congress. The result reflects a substantial increase in SP’s vote share compared to the 2022 assembly elections, and party president Akhilesh Yadav hailed it as “the beginning of India’s victory.”

The RLD and Congress also celebrated the results, with SP’s victory gaining even more significance as its candidate, Sudhakar Singh, defeated Dara Singh Chauhan, who had previously switched from SP to BJP. Chauhan’s repeated party-hopping left him without a seat despite his previous electoral success.

Notably, the result of the Puthuppally assembly by-election dealt a severe blow to the Kerala BJP. The party’s candidate, G Lijin Lal, secured just 5.02% of the votes polled, while Congress’s Chandy Oommen garnered a substantial 61.38%. Jack C Thomas of CPI(M) received 32.49% of the votes. This marked the saffron party’s worst performance in the constituency since 2011, with Lal receiving only 6,558 votes compared to 11,694 in 2021.

In a significant setback for the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress candidate Chandy Oommen emerged victorious in the by-election for the Puthuppally assembly constituency. Chandy Oommen, son of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, won the seat for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), defeating his main rival, Jack C Thomas of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), by a substantial margin.

Chandy Oommen secured victory in the by-election by a margin of 37,719 votes, receiving 80,144 votes compared to Thomas’s 42,425. Despite the BJP’s confidence in a strong performance, its candidate, Lijin Lal, finished third behind the LDF candidate with a total of 6,558 votes. This by-election was particularly significant as it occurred just a few months before the Lok Sabha elections, and experts attribute Congress’s success to voter sympathy following the passing of Oommen Chandy.