BYELECTION

Rajasthan bypolls: Congress wrests Mandalgarh assembly seat

PTI2_1_2018_000084A Congress workers celebrate the party's win in the Mandalgarh assembly constituency, and its decisive leads in Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary constituencies, in Bikaner | PTI

The Congress on Thursday wrested the Mandalgarh Assembly seat from the ruling BJP as its candidate Vivek Dhakar trounced his nearest rival Shakti Singh Hada by 12,976 votes.

While Dhakar got 70,146 votes, Hada got 57,170 votes in the bypoll held on January 29. In Mandalgarh, Hada, Dhakar, and independent Gopal Malviya were the top contenders among eight candidates.

The bypoll to the seat was necessitated after BJP MLA Kirti Kumari died of swine flu on August 28 last year.

Voting in the bypolls for the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan was held peacefully on January 29, recording polling percentages of 65 per cent, 62 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively. A total of 23 candidates are in the fray in Ajmer and 11 in Alwar.

The BJP and the Congress are involved in a direct fight in Ajmer and Alwar, which too were held by the BJP when its sitting MPs died. Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat passed away on August 9 last year, while Alwar MP Mahant Chand Nath died on September 17 last year following a prolonged illness.

Congress state unit President Sachin Pilot told the media that the victory was "dedicated to the public" which he claimed had "rejected" the BJP government and its corrupt policies.

"The arrogant attitude of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia has boomeranged on the ruling party. Although all BJP leaders campaigned, the public was not convinced by their fake promises." 

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