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BJP losing ground in UP, neck and neck in Gujarat in bypolls

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New Delhi, Sept 16 (PTI) BJP appeared to cede ground in Uttar Pradesh where SP was leading on six of the 11 Assembly seats where bypolls were held while it was neck and neck with Congress in Gujarat and behind in Rajasthan today exactly four months after it swept the three states in Lok Sabha elections.

Three hours after counting of votes in bypolls to 33 assembly constituencies spread across 10 states began, two results were declared with TDP candidate T Sowmya winning Nandigama (SC) in Andhra Pradesh by about 75,000 votes while CPI-M nominee Prabhat Chowdhury trounced his nearest Congress rival Mailafru Mog by 15,971 votes in the Manu (ST) in Tripura.

The outcome of the bypolls are seen as yet another test of Narendra Modi government’s popularity since it assumed power in May, It is also important as BJP prepares for polls in Haryana and Maharashtra next month where it hopes to oust the Congress in the two states.

In Uttar Pradesh, SP is leading in six seats, BJP and its ally in four seats and Congress in one, an Election Commission official said in Lucknow.

Stakes are high for BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party in UP after the saffron party’s near-total sweep of the 80 seats in Lok Sabha polls.

Ruling BJP is leading in five assembly seats in Gujarat while Congress is ahead on four, according to early trends.

Initial rounds of counting indicated a neck to neck fight on atleast five seats in the assembly elections.

BJP is leading in Anand, Tankara, Maninagar, Talaja and Limkheda assembly seats while Congress is ahead in Khambalia, Matar, Mangrol and Deesa, according to election officials.

All the seats were earlier held by BJP and were vacated after their sitting MLAs were elected as MPs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was a three-time MLA from Maninagar.

The bypolls are also considered to be a test for new Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel under whose leadership, the elections are being held for the first time.

In Rajasthan, Opposition Congress candidates are leading in three out of the four Assembly constituencies while ruling BJP candidate is ahead on the remaining one.

Initial trends show that Congress candidates Shrawan Kumar (Surajgarh), Bhajanlal (Weir) and Ramnarayan (Nasirabad) are leading while BJP’s Sandeep Sharma was ahead on Kota South.

Trinamool Congress and Congress are leading in Basirhat Dakhin and Chowringhee Assembly constituencies in West Bengal.

For the three seats in Assam, opposition AIUDF is leading in Jamunamukh and Lakhipur while BJP is ahead in Silchar.

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