In a setback to the BJP government, the Congress wrested three of four assembly seats where by-polls were held. BJP was restricted to the Kota (South) seat.
In Nasirabad assembly constituency, Congress candidate Ramnarayan Gujjar defeated BJP’s Sarita Gena by a margin of 386 votes. Ramnarayan got 66,648 votes while BJP’s Sarita got 66,262 votes.
The results should serve as a wake-up call to chief minister Vasundhara Raje to re-look at the ruling BJP’s governance model in the state. The results show that the BJP’s promises of good governance and inclusive growth did not resonate among the people. In a sign of warning for the saffron unit, SCs, OBCs and Jats — who voted overwhelmingly for the party in the previous assembly and Lok Sabha polls — seem to be moving back to the Congress.
Reacting to the results, Raje said, “We accept the people’s verdict humbly and will keep working for the welfare of the public.”
An upbeat state Congress president Sachin Pilot said, “In no time in independent India a party with such a huge majority has been rejected outright in eight months.”
BJP is now down to 160 in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly while Congress’s tally is now 24, up from 21.
Congress regained its old Scheduled Caste seat of Weir with its candidate Bhajanlal defeating BJP veteran Gangaram Koli by 25,108 votes.
In Surajgarh, BJP’s former minister Digamber Singh, who shifted from Bharatpur and is a Raje loyalist, lost to Congress’ Shravan Kumar. Kumar secured 70,527 votes while Singh secured 67,257 votes.
BJP’s Sandeep Sharma won the Kota South Assembly constituency by defeating Congress candidate Shivkant Nandwana by a margin of 25,707 votes. Sharma got 84,233 votes while Shivkant got 58,526 votes.
Twenty-three candidates were in the fray including four each of BJP, and Congress, and one CPI-ML. After winning 163 seats in the assembly polls in December last year, BJP had won all 25 Lok Sabha seats in May this year.