TikTok star Sonali Phogat suffers defeat at the hands of Congress’ Kuldeep Bishnoi

Bishnoi, younger son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, is a three-time MLA. He defeated Phogat by a margin of 29,471 votes. Adampur constituency has been a stronghold of Bhajan Lal’s family since 1972.
Through Phogat, the BJP was hoping to do what no one has been able to over the last four decades.(PTI Photo)
Through Phogat, the BJP was hoping to do what no one has been able to over the last four decades.(PTI Photo)
Updated on Oct 24, 2019 08:34 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

Congress heavyweight Kuldeep Bishnoi defeated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and TikTok star Sonali Phogat to win the Adampur assembly seat in Haryana.

Bishnoi, younger son of former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal, is a three-time MLA. He defeated Phogat by a margin of 29,471 votes. Adampur constituency has been a stronghold of Bhajan Lal’s family since 1972.

Apart from the BJP and Congress candidates, 13 other contestants, including eight independents, were in the fray in the constituency.

Phogat, a school dropout, has more than 151,000 followers on TikTok, a social media app for creating and sharing short lip-synced comedy and talent videos.

A Jat, Phogat started her career as an anchor on Doordarshan 20 years ago. She then dabbled in acting before becoming an internet sensation thanks to her popularity on TikTok.

For full coverage of Haryana, Maharashtra assembly elections 2019, Click here.

Through Phogat, the BJP had been hoping to do what no one has been able to over the last four decades -- win the Adampur seat. The ruling party also kept the results of the Hisar Lok Sabha election this summer in its mind while choosing the 40-year-old Phogat.

Bhavya Bishnoi, Congress candidate from Hisar and Kuldeep Bishnoi’s son, trailed by nearly 23,000 votes from the Adampur assembly segment in the April-May Lok Sabha elections.

Phogat, a resident Bhutan Kalan in Fatehabad district, did not just depend on her popularity on social media. She waged a door-to-door campaign, going from one village to another, and also spoke in the local Bagdi dialect to ensure a greater connect with the voters.

On his part, Bishnoi asked voters to pick someone who is their own. He also questioned how an outsider could fulfil the aspirations of the voters when she did not know the names of even five villages in the constituency.

Countering Bishnoi’s attempt to tag her as an outsider, Phogat said during her campaigns that she was born in Adampur’s Bal Samand village and went to a government school there.

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