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Bypoll: Emphatic win for TMC, BJP humbled in Raj

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Thursday made a clean sweep in the by-elections to Uluberia Lok Sabha and Noapara assembly seats.
CPI(M)-led Left Front was pushed to the third position while Congress candidates suffered the ignominy of losing security deposits in both the seats, including Noapara which it won in 2016.
TMC candidate Sajda Ahmed trounced Anupam Mallick of BJP by over 4.74 lakh votes in Uluberia Lok Sabha seat in Howrah district.
Sajda is the wife of TMC MP Sultan Ahmed, whose death necessitated the bypoll.
In Noapara Assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas, district TMC candidate Sunil Singh emerged victorious securing 1,01,729 votes, while BJP's Sandip Banerjee got 38,711 votes.
The bypoll in Noapara was necessitated following the death of sitting Congress MLA Madhusudan Ghose.
After making a remarkable turnaround in its electoral fortunes in neighbouring Gujarat late last year, the Congress put up a muscular performance in Rajasthan where its candidates wrested Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha and Mandalgarh assembly seats from the BJP by impressive margins.
Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress trounced his nearest BJP rival Jaswant Yadav by a whopping 1,96,496 votes in Alwar, while the main opposition party's nominee for Ajmer Raghu Sharma beat BJP's Swaroop Lamba by an impressive margin of 84,414 votes, the state election office said.
The Congress's Vivek Dhakad won the Mandalgarh assembly seat, defeating his nearest BJP rival Shakti Singh Hada by nearly 13,000 votes. Rebel Congress leader Gopal Malviya, who contested as an independent, failed to alter the outcome.
The defeat for the BJP came days after the release of the period film 'Padmaavat' which saw an upheaval of sorts in the state, with the influential Rajput community up in arms against its screening, claiming it distorted historical facts and projected queen Padmini of Mewar in poor light.
The BJP had won all the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state in the 2014 general elections.
The party, which wrested power from the Congress in Rajasthan in 2013, had 161 MLAs in the House of 200.
With Thursday's win, the Congress's strength in the Lok Sabha has gone up to 48.
Buoyed by the results, a jubilant Congress president Rahul Gandhi hailed the party's Rajasthan unit for its impressive show, calling the outcome a "rejection" of the BJP by the people.
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