The Weekend Leader - BJP, ally sweep bypolls to all 5 Assam assembly seats

BJP, ally sweep bypolls to all 5 Assam assembly seats




The ruling BJP and its ally United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) in Assam on Tuesday swept all the five assembly seats where bypolls were held on Saturday. The Bharatiya Janata Party won the Bhabanipur, Thowra and Mariani Assembly seats with big margins while its partner UPPL secured the Gossaigaon and Tamulpur seats.

Congratulating the victorious BJP and UPPL candidates, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that winning in all five constituencies in the bypolls by huge margins is a loud endorsement of people's faith in the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J.P. Nadda.

With Tuesday's victory, the BJP's strength in the 126-member assembly increased to 62 and the UPPL now has seven members. Another BJP ally, the Asom Gana Parishad, which did not field any candidate in the bypolls, has nine MLAs. The Congress and the AIUDF's strength has now been reduced to 27 and 15 respectively. The Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF) has three members, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Raijor Dal have one member each. One seat (Majuli) of the assembly was lying vacant after Union Minister and former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal resigned from the House following his election to the Rajya Sabha on September 27.

In the March-April elections, the opposition Congress won the Thowra and Mariani Assembly seats while the Muslim dominated party All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) succeeded in the Bhabanipur seat. The UPPL retained its Tamulpur seat but wrested the Gossaigaon seat from the Bodoland People's Front (BPF). BJP nominee Phanidhar Talukdar retained the Bhabanipur seat defeating Congress candidate Sailendra Nath Das by a margin of 25,641 votes. He won the seat as a All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) candidate and subsequently joined the BJP.

BJP candidate Rupjyoti Kurmi, who was earlier elected to the state assembly four times as a Congress nominee and recently joined the saffron party, retained the Mariani seat thrashing Congress candidate Luhit Konwar by a margin of 40,104 votes. Another Congress turned BJP candidate Sushanta Borgohain retained the Thowra seat for the third time by defeating independent candidate Dhaijya Konwar by a margin of 30,561 votes. UPPL candidate Jiron Basumatary won the Gossaigaon seat defeating the Congress nominee Jowel Tudu by a margin of 28,252 votes while UPPL candidate Jolen Daimary won the Tamulpur seat by a record margin of 57,059 votes defeating independent aspirant Ganesh Kachary.

The bypolls were necessitated due to the Covid-related deaths of two sitting MLAs belonging to the UPPL and the Bodoland People's Front, while two Congress and an AIUDF legislator joined the BJP after quitting their Assembly membership.

In the by-elections, 73.77 per cent of around 8 lakh eligible electors cast their votes to decide the electoral fortune of 31 candidates - IANS

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