GUWAHATI, Oct 24 - Notwithstanding economic slowdown, allegations of deteriorating law and order, controversy regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, and other irritants, the ruling BJP managed to retain Ratabari, Rangapara and Sonari, even as the AIUDF wrested the Jania seat from the Congress in the by-elections to four of the Legislative Assembly constituencies of Assam, results of which were declared today.
Principal opposition Congress party drew a blank in the by-polls, and lost Jania, which it had won in the 2016 Assembly elections.
Bijoy Malakar of the BJP defeated his nearest rival Keshab Prasad Rajak of the Congress by a margin of 24,001 votes in Ratabari, as per data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
While BJP�s Malakar secured 68,455 votes, the Congress candidate got 44,454 votes.
In Rangapara, BJP�s Rajen Borthakur trounced his nearest rival and Congress nominee Kartik Kurmi by a margin of 49,599 votes. Borthakur romped home with 78,301 votes as against 28,702 votes secured by Kurmi.
In a straight contest, Nabanita Handique of BJP won from Sonari constituency by securing 66,698 votes, while her Congress party rival Sushil Kumar Suri got 51,268 votes. The margin of win stood at 15,430 votes.
Meanwhile, in the minority-dominated Jania constituency, Rafiqul Islam of AIUDF emerged victorious by a margin of 35,141 votes.
Islam won 81,780 votes, as against Shamsul Hoque of Congress who secured 46,639 votes. BJP�s Towfiqur Rahman came at third place by securing 15,360 votes.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP had won from Ratabari, Rangapara and Sonari, and the Congress had won from Jania.
Following the results of the by-elections, BJP�s strength in the 126-member Assam Legislative Assembly remains at 61, while that of the Congress has come down to 24 and that of AIUDF increased to 14.
Counting passed off peacefully, sources in the Election Commission said.
The four seats fell vacant after the legislators representing them got elected to the Lok Sabha in the recent parliamentary polls and resigned from the Assembly. Kripanath Mallah (Ratabari), Pallab Lochan Das (Rangapara) and Topon Kumar Gogoi (Sonari) � all three from the BJP � besides Abdul Khaleque of the Congress (Jania) vacated their Assembly seats after getting elected to the Lok Sabha.