Rajasthan Bypolls: Congress makes clean sweep as BJP slides to 3rd & 4th position

Bharatiya Janata Party state president Satish Poonia also accepted his defeat but his message spoke of the existing factionalism in the party.

Jaipur, Nov 2 : The ruling Congress on Tuesday made a clean sweep on two seats in the bypolls held in Dhariyavad and Vallabhnagar assembly constituencies on October 30 leaving the rival BJP red-faced being third and fourth respectively.

The total vote share of the Congress was 37.51 while the BJP was left with 18.80% share of votes.

Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot credited the success of the party to the people friendly policies under Congress president Sonia Gandhi. In his message, he said, “People have put their stamp on the policies, programmes and good governance of the state government being run under the leadership of Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi. Hearty congratulations and best wishes to Preeti Shaktawat ji, Congress candidate from Vallabhnagar and Nagraj Meena of Congress from Dhariyavad for their victory in the assembly by-elections.”

He voiced his gratitude to the voters and said, “Gratitude to voters of both the constituencies and congratulations to the workers and leaders of the Congress party. By giving their blessings and support to the Congress candidates, people have given more strength to our government, have linked the connection with development issues and have given a big message.”

Bharatiya Janata Party state president Satish Poonia also accepted his defeat but his message spoke of the existing factionalism in the party.

In his message on his Twitter handle, he said, “This defeat is circumstantial and depends on local equations and issues; Avoiding criticism, we need to move forward by learning new lessons from the defeat in the bypolls while keeping our morale high as well as by being confident.”

His last line in the message spoke of factionalism as he said, “Even when we were in power, we have moved ahead by taking lessons from the defeat in the by-elections,” he commented referring to the former CM Vasundhara Raje regime when the party lost bypolls during BJP’s rule.

In Dhariyavad, Congress’ Nagraj Meena won by getting 69,703 votes while Independent candidate Thavarchand garnered the second highest votes at 51,048 leaving the BJP’s Khet Singh at third position as he had only 46,415 votes.

Meena won with a margin of 18,725 votes from Dhariyavad, said chief electoral officer Praveen Gupta.

While the Congress candidates vote share was 39.16 per cent here, the Independent candidate’s vote share was 28.66 per cent and the BJP’s vote share was 26.08 per cent.

Preeti Gajendra Singh Shaktawat led the show by a whopping 65,378 votes, leaving the ex-BJP man and RLP candidate Udailal Dangi second in the list with 44,978 votes.

Independent candidate and Raje confidant Randhir Singh Bhindar grabbed the third position with 43,519 votes leaving the BJP’s Himmat Singh Jhala in fourth position with 21,278 votes.

Surprisingly, independent candidates and regional parties managed to give a tough fight to both the Congress and the BJP in these bypolls.

Counting for Vallabhnagar and Dhariyavad seats finished in 23 and 25 rounds respectively, said chief electoral officer Praveen Gupta.

Voting was held on October 30 for a total of 16 candidates, 9 in Vallabhnagar (Udaipur) and 7 in Dhariyavad (Pratapgarh). Around 71.72 per cent polling was recorded in Vallabhnagar and about 69.10 per cent in Dhariyavad. The polling percentage in both the assembly constituencies was around 70.40. Voting was held at 638 polling stations including 310 polling stations in Vallabhnagar and 328 polling stations in Dhariyavad.

Gupta informed that the counting of votes started at 8 a.m. at Mohanlal Sukhadia University Campus of Udaipur district headquarters for Vallabhnagar assembly constituency and Government Senior Secondary School, Neemuch Naka, Pratapgarh district headquarters for Dhariyavad assembly constituency. All COVID protocols were followed during counting, he added.

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