Congress scores a hat-trick in bypolls | india | Hindustan Times
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Congress scores a hat-trick in bypolls

india Updated: Dec 16, 2007 02:06 IST
Madhya Pradesh

In a setback to Madhya Pradesh's ruling BJP, the Congress on Saturday won the by-elections for both the Khargone parliamentary and the Sanwer Assembly seats.



The Congress also won the Poonch-Haveli Assembly bypoll In Jammu and Kashmir, wresting the seat from the National Conference after a gap of more than 30 years. This was a major upset for the NC as the Congress not only won with a convincing margin but its main contest was with its own rebel candidate.



In Madhya Pradesh, while the BJP lost Khargone by a record margin of over 118,000, it lost Sanwer by over 9,000 votes.



Of the total 768,668 valid votes polled in Khargone, Arun Yadav of the Congress got 392,092 votes while Krishna Murari Moghe of the BJP polled 273,454 votes.



In Sanwer, Congress candidate Tulsiram Silavat bagged 55,179 votes against 45,887 votes for the BJP nominee Santosh Malviya.



Buoyed by the result of the December 12 polls, the Congress has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, saying that the election outcome showed that the people had lost confidence in the BJP government.



"The results have proved that the public is fed up with corruption in the BJP government and has expressed confidence in the Congress instead," said Congress general secretary and former chief minister Digvijay Singh.



Leader of the Opposition Jamuna Devi said the results had proved the public was disillusioned by the BJP.



The BJP said it accepted the people's verdict and would look "where it went wrong". "The party would review the cause of the defeat," said BJP spokesperson Umashankar Gupta.



"Definitely, there would have been some shortcomings that led to our defeat and we would look into the reasons behind our defeat", BJP state president Narendra Singh Tomar said.



In Jammu and Kashmir, it was a great fall of a bastion of the National Conference. The party was plagued by infighting as was the Congress. While the Congress raced past its rebel and scored a major electoral victory, the National Conference could not do so.



Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's developmental agenda and "reach out to the remote and rural people" policy worked for Congress nominee Jahangir Mir, who romped home with a victory margin of nearly 4,500 votes.