New Delhi : The BJP, dominating the northeast, is facing setback in two northern states it rules, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, in the bypolls for 29 assembly and 3 Lok Sabha seats. Congress won 3 assembly seats in Himachal, and is ahead in the race for Mandi.
In the Lok Sabha seat of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, Pratibha Singh, the wife of late chief minister Virbhadra Singh, has pulled ahead after trailing the BJP's Kargil war hero Brigadier (Retd) Khushal Thakur for long. BJP candidate Gyaneshwar Patil is ahead in the Khandwa Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh. In Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the Shiv Sena is ahead.
The Congress won the three assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh -- Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki. In Haryana, INLD'S Abhay Chautala has a comfortable lead, far ahead of the BJP's Gobind Kanda.
Of the five seats in Assam, the BJP has won all three where it fielded candidates. Alliance partner UPPL is ahead in the two seats it was allotted.
In Meghalaya, former footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh contesting on a United Democratic Party ticket has won. The BJP ally NPP (National People's Party) has won the Rajbala seat and is ahead in another. In Mizoram, the MNF has won the Tuirial seat.
In Bihar, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United is ahead in one seat and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in another. The BJP is also ahead in the one seat it held in Madhya Pradesh and two others.
In Rajasthan, the Congress is ahead in 2 seats -- Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad -- where the election is seen as a referendum on the performance of the Ashok Gehlot government, which faced a challenge last year from the Congress faction led by Sachin Pilot. The party is also ahead in the Arki seat of Himachal Pradesh and one seat in Maharashtra.
The Trinamool Congress is on verge of easy victory in all four seats in Bengal. The bypolls in Dinhata and Santipur -- which the BJP held -- were seen as a prestige battle for the party, which is currently grappling with an exodus of MLAs and senior leaders after the Trinamool's sweeping victory in the April-May state polls.
In the two seats from Karnataka, the BJP is ahead in one seat and the Congress in the other. The by-elections for Sindgi and Hangal are seen as the first electoral test for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had replaced B S Yediyurappa.
In Telangana's Huzurabad assembly seat, Eatala Rajender -- who quit the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi and joined the BJP – is ahead. Mr Rajender, the sitting legislator from the constituency, had stepped down after allegations of land grabbing, which he denied.
By-elections were held for five seats in Assam, four in Bengal, three each in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan and one seat each is in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Telangana. The Lok Sabha seats are Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.