Raj bypolls: Cong wins Sahada and Sujangarh; BJP retains Rajsamand

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Jaipur, May 2 (PTI) The Congress won the bypolls in Sahada and Sujangarh on Sunday and the BJP in Rajsamand, with both parties retaining the seats in Rajasthan that fell vacant after the death of their MLAs last year.

The by-elections to the seats were held on April 17 and according to official figures, the the voter turnout was over 60.37 per cent.

Congress' Gayatri Devi defeated BJP nominee Ratanlal Jat by 42,200 votes in Sahada, Election Commission (EC) figures stated.

The Sahada seat fell vacant after Devi's husband and MLA Kailash Trivedi died in October last year after contracting COVID-19.

In Sujangarh, Congress' Manoj Meghwal defeated BJP's Khemaram Meghwal by 33,611 votes, according to the EC.

The bypoll to the seat was necessitated following the death of Manoj Meghwal's father and MLA Master Bhanwarlal Meghwal in November last year.

In Rajsamand, BJP's Deepti Maheshwari defeated Congress candidate Tansukh Bohara by 5,310 votes, the EC stated.

The bypoll was necessitated after the death of her father and MLA Kiran Maheshwari in November last year due to COVID-19.

The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, led by Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal, stood third in all the three seats.

In Sujangarh, the party candidate got 21.07 per cent votes (32,210); in Sahada, Badri Lal Jat got 8.71 per cent votes (12,231); and in Rajsamand, Prahlad Khatana got 1.04 per cent votes (1,551).

The polling percentage for the Sujangarh by-election was recorded at 58.21 per cent, Rajsamand registered 67.23 per cent polling, and Sahada, 56.60 per cent. A total of 44,98,85 voters exercised their franchise.

In the 2018 assembly elections, the polling percentage of Sahada was 73.56, Sujangarh had recorded 70.68 per cent polling, and Rajsamand 76.59 per cent.

Expressing gratitude to the people, and congratulating all Congress workers and leaders, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, 'The people of the region have given more strength to his government by giving their blessings and support to Congress candidates.' In another tweet, he congratulated Gayatri Devi from Sahada and Manoj Meghwal from Sujangarh on their win.

The party fought the elections unitedly in Rajsamand, and there the victory margin was quite normal, Gehlot said.

Congress state chief Govind Singh Dotasra said the Congress won with a major vote share in Sahada and Sujangarh, and lost by a small margin in Rajsamand.

He said that the people voted for good work and development done by the state government.

'After 2.5 years of government tenure, the increase in 10 per cent votes shows the party’s popularity and good governance. We will not let people's faith weaken in the government and the organization,” Dotasra said.

BJP state president Satish Poonia said, “We accept the peoples’ mandate. We will review the shortcomings. But this is not victory of the Congress or its government as the local equations played the major role.” He added that the BJP fought unitedly and remained successful in retaining its Rajsamand seat.

BJP MLA and election in-charge for Rajsamand, Vasudev Devnani, said that it is victory of party workers and achievement of the Centre.

He said that despite all the misuse of government machinery, people came out in support of BJP candidate.

The by-election results have no bearing on the stability of the Ashok Gehlot government, which enjoys comfortable majority in the assembly.

In the 200-seat assembly in the state, currently the Congress now has 106 MLAs, while the BJP has 72, three RLP MLAs and two MLAs each of CPI-M and BTP and 13 independents. One seat Vallabhnagar is vacant where bypoll is due. PTI AG ANB ANB