Three months after its spectacular showing in Lok Sabha polls, the BJP today received a jolt in assembly by-elections suffering a 4-6 defeat at the hands of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance in Bihar and yielding two strongholds to Congress in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
Honours were shared in Punjab where the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress won one seat each. Out of the 18 seats in four states for which bypolls were held on August 21, Congress and its allies won 10 while seven went to BJP and one to its ally SAD.
In a major test of popularity ahead of assembly polls in four states, the BJP along with its allies, which had swept Bihar winning 33 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats, bagged four seats out of 10 where bypolls were held as against six they had won in 2010 assembly election.
The "secular alliance" stitched by ruling JD(U) with RJD-led by Lalu Prasad and the Congress won Rajnagar (SC), Chapra and Mohiuddinnagar (all three by RJD), Jale and Parbatta (both JD-U), Bhagalpur (Congress).
Congress wrested Bhagalpur from BJP while JD(U) defeated BJP ally LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan in Parbatta, which was won by RJD in 2010.
Bouyed by the victory, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said the voters have expressed their "displeasure" with the Narendra Modi Government and suggested that the alliance would be broadened to include Left parties to check BJP's "communal agenda".
BJP was, however, quick to reject that the bypoll results were a reflection on the performace of the Modi Government.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain attributed the party's poor showing to "prevailing" factors in Bihar and said the state leaders will accept total responsibility.
The BJP, which had allied with JD(U) in 2010 elections and had parted ways last year, managed to win only in Narkatiaganj, Banka, Hajipur, and Mohania (SC).
The results have come as a boost to the JD(U) government, which enjoys a comfortable majority in Bihar Assembly.
In Karnataka, the ruling Congress received a shot in the arm when it won two seats, including wresting the prestigious Bellary(Rural) from BJP which managed to retain one constituency in the fiercely-fought August 21 by-polls.
In a blow to BJP, Congress' N Y Gopalakrishna trounced BJP's Obalesh by a margin of 33,104 votes in Bellary Rural, represented earlier by B Sriramulu, who vacated the seat after becoming a Lok Sabha member.
Sriramulu, once considered a