Trinamool Congress candidate Shyam Sunder Sharma won the Manth Assembly by-election in Mathura district by defeating his nearest rival Yogesh Choudhary of the RLD by 6,604 votes. Despite hectic campaigning by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Samajwadi Party candidate Sanjay Lathar finished third.
Sharma polled 67,457 votes while Yogesh Choudhary polled 60,853 and Lathar 50,039.
More than the TMC, which still can’t claim to have a presence in UP, it is Sharma’s personal victory. Popularly known as Panditji, Sharma has a good following here.
In the general elections, though Sharma was defeated by RLD’s Jayant Choudhary, he managed to poll 71,007 votes. Locals had then remarked that Panditji would have been victorious had Jayant not been the RLD candidate. The byelection to Manth seat was necessitated when Jayant, who was also a member of the Lok Sabha, resigned from the Assembly.
The SP was keen to field Sharma but he turned down the offer, as he was denied ticket by the party leadership in the general elections.
Sharma inherited the legacy from his father Lokmani Sharma who also represented the constituency. Sharma first won as a Congress candidate in 1989 and then won in 1991,1993 and 1996. Later, he, along with other Congress MLAs, formed the Loktantrik Congress and was a minister in Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh’s governments. He retained his seat in 2002 and 2007 as Loktantrik Congress candidates.
The only solace for the SP is that its candidate has got respectable 50,039 votes. In the general elections, its candidate Sanjay Sharma had polled merely 1,058 votes and finished eighth.
During the campaigning, CM Akhilesh Yadav had promised that SP candidate Lathar would be given important responsibilities if he wins. He even tried to woo the Jats who have been traditional RLD supporters. Many local Jat leaders were inducted in the SP.
TMC retains Daspur, Bankura Sadar
The Trinamool Congress on Friday retained both the Assembly seats — Bankura Sadar and Daspur — bypolls for which were held on June 12. Trinamool’s Minati Mishra won Bankura Sadar by defeating CPM’s Nilanjan Dasgupta by 15,139 votes. The seat fell vacant after the death of Minati’s husband and sitting MLA Kashinath Mishra who won the 2011 Assembly elections. In Daspur Assembly segment in Midnapore West, Trinamool candidate Mamata Bhuniyan defeated CPM nominee Samar Mukherjee by 18,943 votes.