AHMEDABAD: In a setback to the Narendra Modi government, opposition Congress today snatched Mansa Assembly seat from the ruling BJP by over 8000 votes.
Congress candidate Babuji Thakore defeated BJP's D D Patel in the constituency which has remained loyal to BJP since 1995.
Though the term of the MLA from this seat will be just about eight months, the elections was made a prestige issue by both the parties as this was the last important poll before the Assembly elections to be held in December this year.
Congress has termed the victory as significant as the Mansa assembly segment falls under Gandhinagar, the seat of power of the Modi government.
"This is a victory of team Congress. This victory just 20 kms from where Narendra Modi rules has proven that people have realised that the so called claim of progress by his government is not true. This result will definitely have an impact on the state assembly elections", Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
Trying to put a brave face after the drubbing, BJP alleged that the Congress workers have gone berserk even as they have won just a single seat.
"We accept the mandate of the people from Mansa. It seems that the Congress workers have lost balance just by one win and turned unruly after the victory," said BJP state unit president R C Faldu.
Mansa has been represented by the BJP from 1995, but the margin of victory has remained slender for the party.
In 2007, Mangaldas Patel had defeated Thakore by 3000 votes.
This byelection was necessitated following the death of former Speaker Mangaldas Patel.