Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami secured his post as the CM by winning the Champawat assembly seat by a massive margin of 55,025 votes, while the Congress and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidates retained their seats in Kerala and Odisha, respectively, according to the results of bypolls to three assembly seats announced on Friday.
Bypolls were held on Tuesday in Champawat in Uttarakhand, Brajarajnagar in Odisha and Thrikkakara in Kerala.
In the Champawat bypoll, Dhami received 58,258 votes (92.94%), defeating Congress’s Nirmala Gahtori by 55,025 votes.
Dhami, who lost Khatima in the state assembly elections held in February, had to contest a bypoll from the seat to become a member of the state Assembly, which was a constitutional requirement he needed to fulfil within six months of being sworn in as the chief minister. BJP MLA Kailash Chandra Gahtori, who won the Champawat seat in the Vidhan Sabha elections, resigned to make way for Dhami.
Champawat recorded 64.14% voting on Tuesday, while the seat recorded over 66 % voting in assembly elections.
“I am very thankful for the voters of the Champawat who gave such a wonderful blessing for a historic victory. I would do my level best to fulfil the expectations of the public. Champawat will be made a model constituency…”
In Kerala, the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front suffered a massive political setback with the opposition Congress-UDF retaining the Thrikkakara assembly constituency. The UDF candidate, Uma Thomas, won by a margin of over 25,016 votes against the Left candidate Joe Joseph. The BJP’s N Radhakrishnan remained a distant third with 12,957 votes.
“I dedicate this victory to the people of Thrikkakara and my late husband P T Thomas. The ruling party used every trick in the book but the people gave them a befitting reply…,” Thomas said.
In Odisha, the ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) has managed a comfortable lead over the Congress and the BJP in the Brajrajnagar bypoll. The BJD candidate, Alaka Mohanty, defeated the Congress candidate by a margin of 66,225 votes after securing 93,790 votes, as per Election Commission data. Mohanty is the widow of former MLA Kishore Mohanty, whose death on December 30 necessitated the election.
The Congress candidate, Kishore Patel, took the second position , with the BJP’s former MLA, Radharani Panda, pushed to third.
A lack of cadre on the ground, and poor election management cost the party, BJP officials said.