Bypoll Results 2023: In the recent bypolls held for seven seats across six states, the outcomes offered both cheer and concern for the BJP-led NDA and the newly formed INDIA alliance of opposition parties. Out of the seven, the BJP claimed three seats, two of which they were already holding. On the other hand, INDIA emerged victorious in four constituencies.
Notably, the INDIA alliance celebrated wins in Dumri, Jharkhand, and notably in Ghosi, Uttar Pradesh. Ghosi’s victory was particularly notable because of its location in a BJP-stronghold state, Uttar Pradesh. The BJP had even nominated Dara Singh Chauhan, a prominent OBC leader, but the SP, supported by INDIA alliance members, not only claimed Ghosi but also boosted its vote share significantly since the 2022 elections.
In other results, Congress maintained its grip on Puthuppally, Kerala, overcoming the CPI(M), while the Trinamool Congress seized Dhupguri from the BJP in Bengal, after contesting against both the CPI(M) and Congress.
Dhanpur and Boxanagar in Tripura also witnessed compelling contests. While BJP held onto Dhanpur, they captured Boxanagar from the CPI(M) with an impressive margin. These victories further solidified BJP’s position in Tripura.
However, West Bengal’s Dhupguri bypoll led to the BJP’s dismay, with the Trinamool Congress triumphing and indicating a resurgence in North Bengal. On this victory, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee remarked about the BJP’s decline in recent bypolls, positioning it as a notable win for INDIA.
Yet, the spotlight of the bypolls undoubtedly was on Puthuppally, Kerala. The Congress didn’t merely retain this seat but did so with a record-breaking margin, surpassing the late Oommen Chandy’s best figures in his 53-year tenure. This result was a significant setback for CM Pinarayi Vijayan, who had hoped to use this bypoll as a reflection of his governance. The voters, however, showcased their enduring respect for the late Congress leader, with the CPI(M) nominee gaining substantially fewer votes than Congress’s Chandy Oommen.
Reacting to the bypoll outcomes, BJP leaders acknowledged their wins in Tripura and Uttarakhand. BJP’s Sambit Patra viewed these results as a challenge to INDIA alliance’s overconfidence, while BJP chief J P Nadda emphasized the party’s continued commitment to development.
Conversely, buoyed by the Ghosi win, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav remarked that the results are a testament to “positive politics” and a rejection of divisive strategies. Other parties in the INDIA alliance mirrored this sentiment, viewing the bypolls as a precursor to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The CPI(M) voiced concerns about potential election rigging in Tripura, calling for a re-election to ensure fair results.
[Contributions from reporters in Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, Agartala, Kolkata, Dehradun, and Ranchi were used in this story.]