JAIPUR, CHANDIGARH: Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party scored an electoral victory in bypolls in Rajasthan and Haryana on Thursday. While the Grand Old Party reached the halfway mark in the desert state’s Assembly with a win in the bypoll for the Ramgarh seat, the BJP trumped the Opposition for the Jind seat in Haryana.
In Rajasthan, the contest for the seat in the communally-charged district of Alwar was a fight between Congress’ Safia Khan Zubair and the BJP’s Sukhwant Singh.
The loss comes as a big one for the BJP as it comes on the back of the ouster of the Vasundhara Raje-led government in December. Lok Sabha polls in the country are to be announced in the next two months. It also comes as a breather for the Ashok Gehlot government, which now has crossed the halfway mark in the Legislative Assembly.
Polling was held on January 28 with a turnout of 78.80 per cent. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of sitting BSP legislator Laxman Singh.
Meanwhile, Chautala family infighting cost the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) dearly in Haryana as BJP candidate Krishan Middha won the bypoll for the Jind constituency, relegating Digvijay Chautala, who contested Independently but with the support of the newly-floated Jannayak Janta Party (JPP) to the second spot. Congress heavyweight Randeep Singh Surjewala came third.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of INLD MLA Hari Chand Middha, father of winner Krishan. The spilt in the INLD and his father’s popularity seem to have propelled Krishan. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had extended support to Krishna by holding a rally in Jind three days before the polls.