New Delhi: Results of
the by-polls to the Hisar Lok Sabha seat and to five assembly
seats will be out Monday as attention is focused on the Haryana
result to see how far Team Anna's campaign against the Congress
will have affected the outcome. Congress circles maintain that a
defeat in Hisar will not matter.
Anna Hazare, whose much-publicised campaign against the Congress
in Hisar heated up the political temperature for what would have
been a usual affair, has taken a vow of silence - maun vrat.
Apart from Hisar, by-elections for five assembly constituencies
were held simultaneously on Oct 13 - Banswada (Andhra Pradesh),
Daroundha (Bihar), Khadakwasla (Maharashtra), Tiruchirapalli West
(Tamil Nadu), and Indira Nagar (Puducherry).
According to political analysts, Hazare's maun vrat and the rifts
in Team Anna will reduce the political significance of the results
of the by-polls.
"It is better Anna will not speak. Because, Team Anna is now
making news for their own differences," said K. Sreekumar, an
"While Arvind Kejriwal wants a hawkish anti-Congress line, others
like Prashant Bhushan want to wait to take a political line."
The controversy over Prashant Bhushan's comments on the Kashmir
issue has also created cracks in the Hazare team, he added.
Political parties and analysts were earlier awaiting whether an
anti-Congress outcome in Hisar would be a re-play of the 1975
Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat by-poll, when socialist leader Jayaprakash
Narayan could persuade opposition parties to put up a joint
candidate - Sharad Yadav, now Janata Dal-United chief - who could
defeat the Congress and boost the anti-Congress movement leading
to the rise of Janata Party in 1977.
The death of Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) leader and former chief
minister Bhajan Lal caused the Hisar by-poll, which witnessed 70
Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi was the HJC candidate, backed by
the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's son Ajay Chautala
contested as the candidate of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD),
while three-time MP Jai Prakash was the Congress nominee.
Though Hazare did not visit Hisar, his video message to defeat the
Congress was widely publicised by Kejriwal and colleagues.
Congress circles said a defeat in Hisar would not affect the
party, either locally or nationally. "We were in the third
position in 2009. We cannot go down from that," an MP from Haryana
Another Congress leader pointed out that none of the six seats for
which results are to be declared Monday were held by the Congress
or any party of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). "It may be
important for the opposition parties, not for us," he added.
According to Congress circles, the party may pull a surprise in
Kadakwasla, which falls in Hazare's home state, Maharashtra.
The UPA fielded the widow of legislator Ramesh Wanjale
(Maharashtra Navnirman Sena), whose death caused the poll, against
joint opposition candidate Bhimrao Tapkir.
An element of sympathy vote could help the UPA nominee in the
constituency which witnessed a mere 32 percent voting, political
"Let us wait for the results," was what Mohan Prakah, Congress
in-charge of Maharashtra, told IANS.
Riding the Telangana agitation, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)
candidate P. Srinivas Reddy is expected to win the Banswada seat
defeating the ruling Congress party's S. Srinivas Goud.
In Daroundha, the main contest is between Kavita Singh,
newly-wedded daughter-in-law of JD-U legislator Jagmato Dev, whose
death caused the by-poll, and Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate
It will be the first electoral test for the five-month-old J.
Jayalalithaa government in the contest in Tirchirapalli West where
her AIADMK's M. Paranjothi and DMK candidate and former transport
minister K.N. Nehru (DMK) locked horns.
Again, it will be a test for the ruling NR Congress in Puducherry
in the Indira Nagar by-poll, where Tamilselvan, nephew of Chief
Minister and NR Congress chief N. Rangaswamy, is faced against the
The polls, held last Thursday amidst tight security and elaborate
monitoring by the Election Commission (EC), had passed off