Rediff Navigator News

Kamal Nath defeated in Chhindwara

The Bharatiya Janata Party has won an impressive victory in the Chhindwara Lok Sabha by-election. Its candidate, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Sunderlal Patwa, defeated former Union minister Kamal Nath (Congress) by 37,680 votes.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of the Congress MP Alka Nath, who contested the May general election in lieu of her husband. The Congress leadership did not give Kamal Nath a ticket because he was chargesheeted in the hawala case. Kamal Nath has represented this constituency since 1980. His defeat must be particularly sweet for the BJP since Chief Minister Digvijay Singh pulled out all stops to ensure his associate's victory.

However, a large section of the local Congress party opposed Kamal Nath's candidature since they viewed him as an outsider in the predominantly tribal constituency.

The Congress also suffered humiliating defeats in the parliamentary by-elections from Baghpat (Uttar Pradesh), Nagaur (Rajasthan) and Ropar (Punjab).

Bharatiya Kisan Kamgar Party leader Ajit Singh --who resigned the Baghpat seat after he deserted the Congress to float his own party with the help of farmers leader Mahinder Singh Tikait -- trounced his Congress rival Mukhia Gujjar by 231,440 votes. Baghpat has long been a jat bastion and returned Ajit Singh's father, Charan Singh, to the Lok Sabha for many years.

Interestingly, in the May election, Ajit Singh was the Congress candidate while Gujjar was the Samajwadi Party nominee.

Bhanu Prakash Mirdha, the BJP candidate and son of former Congress leader Nathu Ram Mirdha, defeated his Congress rival, former Union minister Ram Niwas Mirdha by 1,131 votes in Nagaur. The seat fell vacant following Nathu Ram Mirdha's death in May.

Former home minister Buta Singh lost the Lok Sabha by-election in Ropar, to an Akali Dal candidate.

The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu retained the Pudukottai assembly seat when its candidate Mariayya defeated his AIADMK rival S Chelladurai by a margin of 12,024 votes.

In the by-election to 14 assembly seats, the BJP and its ally, the Shiv Sena won five, the Congress three, the Samajwadi Party two, the Bahujan Samaj Party and DMK one each and Independents two.

The BJP won the Sarkhej (Gujarat), Phulera (Rajasthan), Debai and Shikarpur (Uttar Pradesh) constituencies. The Sena retained the Niphad seat in Maharashtra.

The Congress was victorious in Ramanagaram (Karnataka), Depalpur (Madhya Pradesh) and Kamakhyanagar (Orissa).

Samajwadi Party candidates were elected from Sahaswan and Maniram constituencies in UP. The BSP won the Bilsi seat in UP. The Mahendraganj seat in Mehgalaya was won by an Independent and a Janata Dal rebel wrested the Chinaikanahalli assembly constituency in Karnataka.

The loss in Ramanagaram is a humiliating defeat for Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda whose resignation from the state assembly brought about the by-election. Despite fielding the foremost Vokkaliga Kannada film star Amberish in the predominantly Vokkaliga constituency and pulling out all stops to ensure his victory, the Janata Dal could not prevent a Congress win by 9,612 votes.

The party, which rules Karnataka, also suffered a jolt when a party rebel emerged victorious in Chikkanayakanahalli.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dharam Singh described the party's victory in Ramanagaram as a referendum against the Dal administration in the state.

Tell us what you think of this report

Home | News | Business | Sports | Movies | Chat
Travel | Planet X | Freedom | Computers

Copyright 1996 Rediff On The Net
All rights reserved