The Bharatiya Janata Party has taken the lead in multiple by-election constituencies across the country, as results continued to come in on Tuesday. The party won the by-elections for the Muzaffarnagar seat, beating their Samajwadi Party rivals by 6,000 votes. Bypolls were held in Muzaffarnagar, Deoband and Bikapur after their Samajwadi Party candidates, who were elected from the constituencies during the 2012 state elections, died. The results in the three communally sensitive seats of the state will indicate the public mood as the state goes for assembly elections in 2017.
Muzaffarnagar has been the site of constant communal tension since at least 60 people died and thousands got displaced in 2013 after riots erupted in the district. The Indian Express reported voter turnout of only 48% in the district because of unexpected winter rain on Saturday. BJP's victory in the area is significant as it is a blow to the ruling party. The party also lost the Deoband seat to the Congress.
The BJP also won the Maihar assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh with party nominee Narayan Tripathi defeating the Congress's Manish Patel by a margin of 27,544 votes. The by-poll was necessitated after Tripathi, who had won the seat as a Congress MLA in 2013, resigned from his post and party after joining the BJP.
The BJP is also leading in two of the three assembly constituencies in Karnataka that went to by-elections on Friday. According to the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, the BJP is leading in Devadurga and Hebbal constituencies by a margin of 15,025 votes and 16,171 votes, respectively. The Congress is ahead in Bidar by a margin of 20,248 votes till around noon, reported PTI.