Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad entered the state assembly on Thursday, winning the by-election in his home constituency Bhaderwah by defeating the rival contestant from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Azad polled 62,072 votes while his opponent Dhantar Singh could secure only 4057 votes out of a total of 66.129 polled votes.
The results of the by-elections in the four Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir were a mixed bag for the coalition partners with Congress winning the lone seat it contested while its partner People's Democratic Party suffered drubbing at the hands of Opposition National Conference in Pattan and an independent backed by the NC in Sangrama.
PDP, however, won Rafiabad constituency where its candidate Mohammad Dilawar Mir overcame stiff resistance from the National Conference.
Opposition National Conference maintained its supremacy when it won from Pattan. The party candidate Sheikh Mustafa Kamal polled 26,736 votes against 23,969 votes polled by PDP candidate Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari. Ansari, who quit NC and joined PDP, had won the seat in 1983, 1996 and 2002 on different party tickets.
Kamal is the younger brother of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.
The defeat of PDP in Sangrama was more severe blow to the party as an independent candidate Shoiab Lone supported by National Conference and a suspended PDP legislator Ghulam Hassan Mir won the seat with handsome margin of over 6000 votes. PDP had won the seat in 2002 assembly elections.
Shoiab, a new entrant to politics, riding on sympathy wave, polled 18,532 votes whereas his PDP rival Javid Hussain Baig could secure only 12208.
Elsewhere, the BJP retained the Patna West assembly seat as its nominee Nitin Navin trounced the Rashtriya Janata Dal-backed Congress candidate Rana Ajay Singh by a margin of over 65,000 votes, in the first by-election held since the National Democratic Alliance came to power in Bihar about five months ago.
While Navin got 76,025 votes, his nearest rival Singh could manage just 10,858 and lost his security deposit. It is for the fifth time in a row that the BJP has won the seat. All the remaining 11 candidates got below two thousand votes. A total of 92,364 votes were polled in the April 24 by-election.
Down south, the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh retained the Visakhapatnam-1 assembly seat, for which repolling was held on Monday last. Congress candidate Dronamraju Srinivas defeated his nearest rival S A Rehman of the Telugu Desam Party by 14,150 votes, official sources said.
The seat fell vacant due to the death of senior Congress leader Dronamraju Satyanarayana and Congress had given ticket to his son Srinivas.