Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today won a by-election critical for him to retain his job after he lost in polls held earlier this year.
For Pushkar Singh Dhami, this was a must-win after the BJP, following its victory in Uttarakhand, decided to retain him as Chief Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to congratulate Mr Dhami on the record win. He also thanked the voters for their faith in the BJP.
Congratulations to Uttarakhand’s dynamic CM @pushkardhami for the record win from Champawat. I am confident he will work even harder for the progress of Uttarakhand. I thank the people of Champawat for placing their faith in BJP and laud our Karyakartas for their hardwork.
– Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 3, 2022
Bypolls were held on Tuesday in Champawat in Uttarakhand, Brajarajnagar in Odisha and Thrikkakara in Kerala.
Mr Dhami 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. He had lost from Khatima in the state assembly polls held in February.
Pushkar Singh Dhami took an early lead in the Champawat constituency and widened the gap to 55, 025 votes or 92.94 per cent of the vote count. Former BJP MLA Kailash Gehtori had resigned from the seat to make way for Mr Dhami to make a fresh bid for the state assembly.
The BJP had campaigned aggressively for Mr Dhami, pulling in top leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Mr Dhami was locked in a straight contest with Congress’ Nirmala Gehtori in the seat located in Kumaon region of the state. The other two in the fray were Samajwadi Party’s Manoj Kumar Bhatt and Independent candidate Himashu Gadkoti.
In Kerala, the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF suffered a massive political setback with the opposition Congress-UDF retaining the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency. The UDF candidate won by a historic margin of over 25,000 votes against the Left candidate Jo Joseph.
Ruling Biju Janta Dal (BJD) has managed a comfortably lead over the Congress and BJP in the Brajrajnagar assembly by-election. At the end of 16 rounds, BJD candidate Alaka Mohanty was leading by a margin of 54,096 votes after securing 75,317 votes, as per Election Commission data.
Her nearest Congress rival Kishore Patel got 21,221 votes, while BJP candidate Radharani Panda was in third place with 18,897 votes.
This is the first time since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls that the BJP was struggling at the third spot, with the Congress coming up in the second spot.