BJP suffers a 4-6 drubbing in Bihar assembly bypolls

Barely three months after the BJP-led alliance swept the Lok Sabha polls, a new combine of the RJD, JD-U and Congress managed to win six out of 10 seats in assembly bypoll in Bihar.

Results of the assembly bypolls held elsewhere in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka have also brought in bad news for the BJP.

In Punjab, of the two constituencies that went to polls, the Congress and the Akali Dal won one each with the AAP candidate losing his deposit while in Karnataka, which had three bypoll contests, the BJP lost Bellary rural, which of late had become a party stronghold.

BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa's son BY Raghavendra won the Shikaripura assembly seat in Shimoga district by a thin margin of just 4000 votes. The seat was earlier held by Yeddyurappa.

In a stunning reversal of fortunes, BJP, which had won six out of the 10 seats in 2010, suffered a setback bagging just four seats.

The RJD won three seats - Mohiuddinnagar, Rajnagar and Chapra - while its new found ally JD-U won in Jale and Parbatta and the Congress wrested the Bhagalpur seat from the BJP after a gap of 23 years.

The BJP, which was confident of crushing the opposition, was declared elected from Hajipur, Mohania, Narkatiaganj and Banka constituencies. Its ally, the Lok Janshakti Party, was routed.

Elsewhere, the BJP yielded two strongholds to Congress in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh while in Punjab, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress won one seat each.

Out of the 18 seats in four states for which bypolls were held on 21 August, Congress and its allies won 10 seats while seven went to BJP and one to its ally SAD.

For the RJD and the JD-U, which came together after two decades soon after the Lok Sabha results came out in May, the 21 August by-elections were a litmus test.

The Congress, which later joined the alliance against the BJP-LJP combine, also gained in the process.

RJD leader Ashok Kumar Sinha said the victory of the new alliance showed that the "magic of Lalu and Nitish has clicked."

It was the first major political test for BJP after the general election and ahead of next year's assembly polls in Bihar.

BJP's Syed Shahnawaz Hussain took moral responsibility for the poor showing. Party spokesman Vinod Narain Jha, however, claimed the results would have no impact on the assembly polls next year.