Bypolls: BJP clinches Rampur, AAP holds fort in Delhi
In a blow for the Samajwadi Party (SP), BJP candidate Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi defeated SP nominee and Azam Khan's long-time colleague Asim Raja by over 42,000 votes in the Rampur Lok Sabha bypolls, The Indian Express reported. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to publicly declare the results. However, Lodhi has been named the winner, according to local SP and BJP leaders.
The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Durgesh Pathak won the Rajinder Nagar bypolls in Delhi by a margin of roughly 11,000 votes, as per reports. Meanwhile, Tripura Chief Minister and BJP candidate Manik Saha defeated Congress's Ashish Kumar Saha in the Town Bordowali bypolls by 6,104 votes. The contest was a do-or-die situation for Saha as he needed to win to keep his CM position.
Meanwhile, Mekapati Vikram Reddy of the YSR Congress Party beat the BJP candidate in Atmakur, Andhra Pradesh, by 82,888 votes. Simranjit Singh Mann of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) party has already overcome AAP contender Gurmail Singh as counting proceeds in Punjab's Sangrur. The ruling AAP faced its first popularity test following its resounding victory in the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections.
In Delhi, Rajesh Bhatia, a former councilor from Rajinder Nagar, was the BJP candidate while Prem Lata was the Congress nominee. Andhra Pradesh held a bypoll to fill a vacancy left by the death of the state's Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy in February. While the YSR Congress Party fielded Reddy's brother Vikram, G Bharat Kumar Yadav was the BJP's candidate.
Apart from the Town Bardowali constituency, bypolls were also conducted in Tripura for three Assembly seats: Agartala, Jubarajnagar, and Surma. While the BJP won three of the four seats, including Town Bordowali, the Congress bagged the Agartala seat.
In Azamgarh, UP BJP's Dinesh Lal was also holding a slight advantage over Samajwadi Party candidate Dharmendra Yadav in this election. In Punjab's Sangrur, the AAP has fielded Gurmail Singh, its Sangrur district in charge; the Congress had fielded Dalvir Singh Goldy, a former Dhuri MLA; and the BJP had fielded Kewal Dhillon, a former Barnala MLA who joined the party on June 4.
The Jharkhand bypoll was necessitated as MLA Bandhu Tirkey was disqualified after being convicted in a corruption case. Later, Congress nominated his daughter, Shilpi Neha Tirkey, as the ruling JMM-led coalition's common candidate, while the BJP chose former MLA Gangotri Kujur. Dev Kumar Dhan, an independent candidate supported by Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM, also ran in the Jharkhand bypoll.