Chandigarh/Jaipur: The ruling BJP in Haryana on Thursday won the high-stakes byelection in Jind, which also saw the newly-floated JJP scoring convincingly higher than its parent party INLD and the Congress’ Randeep Singh Surjewala, the party’s spokesman, settling for the third spot.
The BJP’s Krishan Middha won in Jind by 12,935 votes. Mr Middha got 50,566 votes and Digvijay Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party got 35,293 votes. Congress’ Randeep Surjewala was third, with 22,740 votes, and the INLD polled 3,454 votes.
In Rajasthan, the ruling Congress won the byelection in Ramgarh and with it touched the halfway mark in the 200-member Assembly, with its candidate Shafia Zubair defeating her BJP rival by a margin of over 12,000 votes. Ms Zubair secured 44.77 per cent of the vote against BJP candidate Sukhwant Singh’s 38.20 per cent, the state election department said. With this victory, the Congress now has 100 MLAs in the House and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one MLA. The BJP has 73 members in the Rajasthan Assembly.
In Jind, counting of votes was stopped for a while after a ruckus over missing EVMs at the counting centre at the Arjuna Stadium. The counting resumed after additional CRPF personnel were deployed at the centre.
Reacting to the win, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said the BJP’s comprehensive victory was a clear signal of the people’s increasing faith in his government’s “transparent and graft-free governance” and policies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of Jind for voting for the BJP. “This is a seat where the party has never won before,” he tweeted. The bypoll was held after the death of Mr Middha’s father, INLD’s Hari Chand Middha. Krishan Middha is an ayurvedic doctor from the Punjabi community.
The Jannayak Janata Party, which broke away from the INLD just weeks ago after a feud in the Chautala family, put up a spirited fight and finished second.
In Ramgarh, Rajasthan, a total of 20 candidates were in the fray in the January 28 election. Besides the winner and the BJP candidate, the remaining 18, including the BSP’s Jagat Singh, forfeited their security deposits. Mr Jagat Singh is the son of former external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh.
Rajasthan Congress chief and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot said: “This is a vote of confidence yet again by the people of Rajasthan towards the Congress Party. It was the first election after the government’s formation and the result is an indication that the BJP has lost the support they had,” Mr Pilot told PTI.
The election to the Ramgarh seat, which was won by the BJP in 2013, could not be held along with the other constituencies due to the death of the BSP candidate ahead of the December 7 Rajasthan election.