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Jan 21, 2020, 08.34 AM IST

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Bengal Bypolls: How the rise of BJP has forced TMC to change its strategy

In 2014 LS polls, the shocker for the TMC , was that the BJP did not even have a major presence in West Bengal until then, even though its origins have a Bengali connect: Syama Prasad Mookerjee had founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor to the BJP. Now that the state will vote in by-polls to three Assembly seats, TMC has shifted its strategy to reclaim lost ground.

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  • The ruling party, which took a decent lead of about 1,900 votes against arch rival DMK just after the start of the counting exercise, improved its margin steadily round after round and eventually won by 44,000 plus votes.

    Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Prasanth, who contested at Vattiyoorkavu constituency won with a margin of 14,465 votes against his nearest rival, Congress party's K Mohankumar, while K U Jinesh Kumar won from Konni by a margin of 9,953 votes.

    BJD candidate Rita Sahu has secured over 73 per cent of the total polled votes while Gartia has garnered around 20 per cent of it.

    Congress candidate Jashu Patel defeated BJP's Dhavalsinh Zala in Bayad seat of Arvalli district by a margin of over 700 votes. Before the results were declared by local election officials, Zala accepted his defeat and left the counting centre.

    In the last Assembly elections, Suresh Kashyap of the BJP had defeated his nearest rival and former minister Musafir with a margin of 6,427 votes in Pachhad.

    From Mukerian seat, Congress candidate Indu Bala was leading by 2,684 votes against her nearest rival and BJP nominee Jangi Lal Mahajan. From Jalalabad, Congress candidate Raminder Awla was also ahead of SAD candidate.

    Of the 11 seats of the state where bypolls were held, eight were held by the BJP and one by ally Apna Dal (Sonelal). Two other seats were shared by the SP and the BSP. The bypolls were mostly necessitated after legislators got elected to the LS.

    The 14 MLAs who quit from Congress and the three from the Janata Dal (Secular) last July, leading to the fall of the JD(S)-Congress government, may have reasons other than pure disagreement and/or disenchantment with the way their own parties were going about governing and such things. Now, it’s for the bypolls on December 5, to decide the fate of the 17.

    There is a close fight on the Mukerian assembly segment between the Congress and the BJP. In Jalalabad, which is considered as an Akali bastion, Congress candidate Raminder Awla is way ahead of SAD candidate Raj Singh Dibipura by 11,252 votes.

    The CM left for Davos on Sunday on a six-day trip to attend the world economic summit amid an uneasy lull. While Yediyurappa has said he will expand his ministry after his return, it has meant little by way of a message. Sections of BJP leaders are intrigued as to why the party leadership is not letting the CM go ahead with the much delayed expansion .

    Gujarat Congress stares major changes in leadership as it faces the bypolls to six assembly seats. With senior state Congress members resigning, Rahul Gandhi has a lot in his plate as failure may initiate some big changes in the local leadership.

    The Supreme Court is set to pass the judgement on disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs by the previous Assembly Speaker. The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari will now be listing the disqualification case for judgement while the plea seeking postponement of the by-election is expected to become infructuous.

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