Congress gets bypoll boost before MP polls; BJD sweeps Bijepur in Odisha
The bypolls in Madhya Pradesh assumed significance because they are the last electoral test before the state goes to the polls at the end of the year. The Congress is attempting to end the BJP’s three-term rule in the state.Updated: Mar 01, 2018 00:07 IST
Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Bhubaneswar
The Congress retained two assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) trounced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha’s Bijepur in bypoll results announced on Wednesday.
The Congress candidate in Mungaoli, Brajendra Singh Yadav, defeated the BJP’s Bai Sahab Yadav by a margin of 2124 votes while Mahendra Singh Yadav, the Congress candidate in Kolaras, beat the BJP’s Devendra Jain by a margin of 8086 votes.
“This victory is of the power of the people (Jan bal) of Madhya Pradesh against BJP’s money power, muscle power and ministers’ power (Dhan bal, bahu bal aur mantri bal),” said senior Congress leader and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia.
In Odisha’s Bijepur, the BJD defeated the BJP by more than 41,000 votes. The BJD’s Rita Sahu, widow of deceased Congress MLA Subal Sahu, bagged 102,871 votes while Ashok Panigrahi of the BJP got 60,938 votes, said returning officer Tapiram Majhi. The Congress, which held the seat for the last three terms, lost its security deposit.
“Humbled by love & trust of the people of #Bijepur for giving @bjd_Odisha a massive victory. BJD lives in the hearts of the people of #Odisha,” tweeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The bypolls in Madhya Pradesh assumed significance because they are the last electoral test before the state goes to the polls at the end of the year. The Congress is attempting to end the BJP’s three-term rule in the state and is upbeat after winning two assembly bypolls and civic body elections in the past year.
State BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan conceded the party’s defeat but said the Congress had won its traditional seats. However, the narrow margin of the victory suggested that BJP got votes in the names of development and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he added.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier in the afternoon indirectly conceded the party’s defeat by saying, “Congress had won both the seats in 2013 assembly elections even when there was a BJP wave.” Both seats are in the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Scindia.
“Money flowed like anything from their side and they tried to use every trick and manipulation to win the election. The entire cabinet was camping in the constituencies. The credit for the victory also goes to every worker and leader of the Congress who worked hard for victory of the party,” Scindia added.
The victory of the Congress led to jubilation at the state Congress office in Bhopal and other districts with beating of drums, raising of slogans and distribution of sweets.
Chouhan led the BJP campaign and deployed an army of his ministerial colleagues to crisscross the constituencies and woo voters. He also promised five years’ development in five months. Meanwhile, Scindia asked people to endorse the development works he ensured in the constituencies.
During the campaign, the Election Commission found statements made by Chouhan, minister for sports and youth welfare Yashodhra Raje Scindia and minister of woman and child development Maya Singh as violation of the model code of conduct.
First Published: Feb 28, 2018 21:59 IST