Narayan Tripathi of the BJP won the by-election for Maihar assembly segment in Madhya Pradesh by 28,281 votes on Tuesday.
In the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, Congress holds 57 seats, the BSP holds four while three seats are held by independent candidates. Tripathi’s victory takes the total number of BJP members in the assembly to 166, including the Speaker.
Tripathi had earlier won the Maihar seat with a margin of just 6,975 votes in 2013 assembly elections on a Congress ticket but had resigned from the party to join the BJP, necessitating the bypoll.
In the recent bypoll, which had 15 candidates vying for the seat, Tripathi received 82,658 votes while Patel secured 54,377 votes. The BSP’s Ramlakhan Singh and Samajwadi Party’s Ramniwas Urmaliya, expected to play spoilers in the contest, secured just 9,892 and 8,982 votes respectively. A total of 2,863 votes were polled under NOTA.
The Maihar by-election was held on February 16 and an average polling of 71.76% was recorded in the constituency.
The high margin of victory ensured that fireworks and celebrations began early at the state BJP headquarters in Bhopal.
“I express my gratitude to the voters of the constituency for the victory. The love shown by people is our real strength,” CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted. “The faith shown by people in policies of the government gives renewed strength to us.”
BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan credited BJP workers in Maihar for the victory saying they worked with “the zeal of army men”.
However, state Congress president Arun Yadav cried foul and in a statement said the BJP had won the election dishonestly and with the help of the government machinery.