For Congress In Rajasthan, Months Ahead Of State Polls

Marsha Scott
February 5, 2018

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday suffered defeat in Rajasthan, where the Congress won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat and was poised to grab the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats. Polling for the two Lok Sabha seats - Ajmer and Alwar - and one Assembly seat, Mandalgarh, was held on Monday. "Or else would the Congress not have raised its stakes in the contest, fielding regular high profile claimants to the Lok Sabha seats", said a party functionary.

Calling the election results a "mystery", Khanna listed the development works done by the Centre and the state government in these seats.

A total of 42 candidates were in the fray for the three seats.

Will the results trigger a rethink on simultaneous polls?

The Rajasthan outcome shows to the Congress leadership that by backing a young and strong state leader, focusing on the failures of the government, smartly picking candidates, astutely managing caste, and avoiding the "communal trap", it could potentially win back key states going to polls this year. This is a rejection of the BJP by the people of Rajasthan. While the average difference in Ajmer's assembly segments between Congress and BJP was over 10,000 votes, things were worse for BJP in Alwar, where the average margin was about 25,000 votes. Public supported our Sangharsh & voted against BJP.

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In the Mandalgarh assembly by-election, Vivek Dhakad of the Congress defeated Shakti Singh Hada of the BJP by 12,976 votes. It has been clear for some time now that there is a significant anti-incumbency against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. He added to good measure that "the Vasundhara Raje government hasn't done anything the past four years".

In a tweet, Gandhi also congratulated the party workers in Rajasthan. The bypoll on the seat was announced after it had gone vacant following the death of BJP MP Chand Nath earlier previous year. The party, which wrested power from the Congress in 2013 in Rajasthan, had 161 MLAs in the House of 200. For years elections in West Bengal have been between the TMC and the Communists, with Congress in third place.

In the high-voltage run-up to the by-polls, the Congress also accused the BJP of trying to polarize voters and doing nothing to stop attacks on Muslims in incidents mostly linked to cow vigilantes. BJP's Jaswant Singh Yadav gets 1,33,289 votes.

This act of seeking Pilot's aashirwaad sums up what the Congress has achieved through its 3-0 win in the elections to Alwar, Ajmer and Mandalgarh on Wednesday.

TMC's Sultan Singh seized the Noapara assembly constituency from the Left-Congress alliance, winning by over 63,000 votes. In both, the BJP came a distant second.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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