Seven By-polls, One Pointer

- Dipankar Bhattacharya

Results of the September 5 by-polls are out. On the face of it, there is no change in the overall tally: NDA 3, INDIA 4. But a closer look would reveal that a lot has changed underneath. And the biggest change has happened in UP, the state that sends the largest number of members to the Lok Sabha.

The Ghosi by-poll was caused not by death, but by defection. The erstwhile SP MLA had defected to the BJP and was seeking re-election on the BJP's ticket. Backing him was the fullest might of the Modi-Shah-Yogi 'double engine' dispensation. By defeating the BJP, the people of Ghosi have thus defeated the all-powerful Yogi regime, and the emphatic margin of the defeat has only delivered the message louder.

Dumri in Jharkhand was also quite a tough contest. In 2019, JMM stalwart Jagannath Mahato had an easy victory as the BJP and AJSU had both contested. This time round AJSU had the total backing of the BJP, which in turn enjoyed the support of the erstwhile JVM led by Babulal Marandi. Considering the demands of the situation, Giridih district unit of CPIML plunged energetically into the election campaign in support of the JMM. The defeat of the BJP-AJSU combine is therefore a shot in the arm for the entire INDIA camp in Jharkhand.

Let us also take note of the Dhupguri bypoll in West Bengal where the TMC managed to defeat the BJP in a close contest. In 2021, the BJP had swept the polls in North Bengal, but the tide seems to be turning.