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HVK Archives: Bypoll results vote for Vajpayee Govt, nuclear stand

Bypoll results vote for Vajpayee Govt, nuclear stand - The Observer

Observer Political Bureau ()
June 8, 1998

Title: Bypoll results vote for Vajpayee Govt, nuclear stand
Author: Observer Political Bureau
Publication: The Observer
Date: June 8, 1998

Results of the just-concluded bye-elections to Parliament and
assemblies, spread across 13 states, indicate the people's
approval of the performance of the two-month-old Vajpayee
Government and its bold decision to go nuclear.

The victory of BJP and its friendly parties in all the three Lok
Sabha bye-elections, at the cost of the Congress, indicates the
people's preference for a strong Government. This yearning of the
people is reinforced by the performance of the BJP and its
friendly parties in winning half of the 51 Assembly seats which
went to polls.

The BJP and its allies won all the three Lok Sabha bye-elections
>from Mandi, Tarn Taran and Ladakh and won 22 out of the total 51
Assembly seats in 13 states. This includes the three seats won by
the Telugu Desam Party, which is supporting the BJP-led coalition
Government at the Centre, and one won by the Asom Gana Parishad.

The peoples' verdict in favour of the Government's nuclear
decision is best reflected in the BJP-HVC alliance's sweep in
Himachal Pradesh and consolidation of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh,
where it made significant inroads into Samajwadi Party bastions.

The BJP, along with its alliance partner Himachal Vikas Congress,
wrested Mandi seat Prom the Congress and its ally National
Conference gained the Ladhakh seat from the Congress.

Another BJP ally, Shiromani Akali Dal, maintained its hold over
Tarn Taran, which it wrested from the Congress in the 1998
general elections, giving the ruling coalition some cause for
celebration and increasing the numbers in the Government's favour
in Lok Sabha during the crucial Budget Session.

Of the total 51 Assembly bye-elections in 13 states, the BJP and
its awes bagged 22 seats and the Congress 16 seats. The TDP and
AGP won in their respective states, both at the cost of the
Congress. Significantly, the Janata Dal, gave notice of its
presence by putting up a good performance in Karnataka, where it
won three seats.

By winning all the four assembly by-elections in Himachal
Pradesh, at the cost of the Congress, the BJP-HVC alliance in the
State secured stability for the BJP Government by raising its
strength to 36 in a house of 68.

In Uttar Pradesh, that sends the largest contingent to the Lok
Sabha, the BJP consolidated its position by wresting three seats
>from the Samajwadi Party.

The fragmented opposition only added to the BJP's victory even in
the citadels of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav Tulsipur, Nagina and
Dildnagar.

More significantly, none of the BJP's allies, BSP Janatantrik and
Janatantrik Congress could win any seat out of the seven bye-
elections to the Assembly. For the Bahujan Samaj Party too, the
bypolls indicated Its relevance in state politics as it retained
its two seats of Harora and Chaubeypur and wrested Madhuban from
Samajwadi Party. Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav had to content with
retaining Malkipur seat.

For the ruling alliance at the Centre, results from other states,
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa and Bihar, were disappointing. At
a time when the BJP and the Samata Party combine have stepped up
their campaign to oust the Rabri Devi Government in Bihar, the
alliance could make it only in two seats. Both the seats were won
by the Samata Party, which retained its Tarapur and gained
Govindganj.

The BJP drew a blank In Bihar. Of the total seven assembly seats,
RJD three (retained) and Congress and Janata Dal won one each.
While Janata Dal gained Papri, the Congress retained Sheikhpura.

In Karnataka the BJP-Lok Shakti, which was expected to win at
least four of the total seven that went to polls, had to remain
content with just two. The BJP managed to retain Uttarhalli and
wrested Bagalkote from the Janata Dal.

But, its alliance partner, the Lok Shakti drew a blank In the
polls. The ruling Janata Dal put up a surprisingly good show by
retaining two seats of Madya and Balholli and wrested Hunsur from
the BJP.

But, the net gainer was the Congress which retained Davangere and
gained Baindoor seat. In Maharashtra, BJP-Shiv Sena combine could
not reverse the trends visible in the general elections, where it
suffered humiliating reverses.

In the state assembly by-elections too, the BJP and Shiv Sena
could win only three seats out of the total 10 seats.

The Congress, its main rival, almost repeated its performance of
1998 general elections by winning seven.

Though the Congress lost one assembly seat, its performance was
creditable as it fought the assembly bye-elections on its own.
The Congress bagged Dahanu, Ramket, Shingnapur, Biloli, Kannad,
Akkalkot and Mulshi. The Congress wrested Akkalkot from the BJP
and Ramtek from Shiv Sena. The BJP wrested Satara and Rahuri from
the Congress.

Bad news greeted the BJP and its ally Biju Janata Dal in Orissa,
which is scheduled to go for fresh assembly polls in November
this year. Unable to maintain its 1998 general election
performance, the alliance lost ground to the Congress, which
wrested three seats from the alliance.

The Congress won Khurda, Bhandaripokhari and Bonei. While the BJP
won Junagarh, BJD could win only in Baragada. All the five
assembly seats fell vacant after the sitting MLAs were elected to
the Lok Sabha. In just three months, the alliance lost ground to
the Congress.

The BJP also suffered humiliation in Andhra Pradesh, where It
lost Metapalli, the seat vacated by its state unit President
Vidya Sagar Rao. This seat was won by the Congress, after the
ruling Telugu Desam put up its own candidate.

The TDP which is supporting the Vajpayee Government at the
Centre, won three out of the total four seats.

It wrested Attili from the Congress and retained Mummidivaram,
vacated by Lok Sabha speaker GMC Balayogi and Andhole (Medak
district). In Kerala, the ruling LDF inflicted a humiliating
defeat on the Congress in its traditional seat of Ernakulam.


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