The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won Kolebira (ST) and Jasdan assembly bypolls respectively on Sunday, with Naman Bixal Kongari defeating his BJP rival by 9,658 votes, while Kunvarji Bavaliya defeated his nearest rival, Congress nominee Avsar Nakiya, by a big margin of 19,979 votes.
Kongari secured 40,343 votes, while Basant Soreng of the saffron party polled 30,685 votes, an Election Commission release said. With this victory, the Congress will increase its tally to eight in the 82-member House in Jharkhand.
The bypoll was necessitated after Enos Ekka of Jharkhand Party, who represented the constituency in the Assembly, lost his membership following his conviction in a murder case.
Others who were in the fray were Menan Ekka of Jharkhand Party, Anil Kandulna of Sengel Party and an independent candidate, Basant Dungdung. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha had announced support to Menan Ekka of Jharkhand Party while Babulal Marandis Jharkhand Vikas Morcha had supported the Congress candidate.
In Gujarat, the ruling BJP comfortably won the by-poll from Jasdan Assembly seat, taking its tally in the House to 100.
Bavaliya retained the Assembly seat in Rajkot which he had won as Congress candidate in 2017. With this, the BJP now has 100 MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly, while the Congress tally has come down to 76. The saffron outfit had won 99 seats in the 2017 assembly polls and the Congress 77.
At the end of the counting of votes, Bavaliya secured a total 90,262 votes as against Nakiya's 70,283, the officials said.
A total 2,146 votes were cast as NOTA, they said. Polling for the Jasdan Assembly seat was held on December 20 and a voter turnout of 71.27 per cent was recorded.
The by-poll became a battle of prestige between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the wake of the latter winning the just held assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
The by-election was necessitated after Bavaliya, an influential Koli community leader who had won the seat on a Congress ticket in 2017, resigned from the party and also the assembly, and joined the BJP.
Bavaliya, who resigned as an assembly member on July 2, was made a Cabinet minister in the BJP government the same day.
(With PTI inputs)