Congress wins 3/3 in Rajasthan

Vasundhara-Sachin

Congress candidate Vivek Dhakar trounced Bharatiya Janata Party's Shakti Singh Hada by 12,976 votes.

While the Congress wrested the Ajmer and Alwar parliamentary seats from the BJP in Rajasthan, the party also won the Mandalgarh assembly seat, also held by the BJP.

Rajput Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi on Wednesday claimed that the ruling BJP government had lost in all three bypolls seats in Rajasthan as it had not banned Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat" in the state. Both seats were held by the BJP and the elections were necessitated after the death of the sitting MPs.

Will the results trigger a rethink on simultaneous polls?

The results are important because assembly elections in the state are due in December when the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government faces off against the Congress in a direct contest.

He insisted that the verdict was a rejection of the BJP. Raghu Sharma of the Congress won against BJP's Ram Swaroop Lamba in Ajmer.

Congress' Karan Singh Yadav, who had represented the seat from 2004 to 2009, has emerged victorious with a huge margin of 1.96 lakh votes.

The Congress is rapidly gaining ground in Rajasthan with its young turk Sachin Pilot in the driver's seat.

The BJP lost Ajmer North by 6,975 votes, Ajmer South by 13,070 votes. Since it has lost in both Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, it is hard to say if the verdict against the Centre or the state government.

The results are a major setback for BJP as 15 out of the 17 seats were won by BJP in the 2013 Assembly poll.

Accepting the verdict, the Rajasthan chief minister said: "We have worked tirelessly over the years with the people of Rajasthan as our centre of attention and shall work harder, with renewed fervour and dedication, taking our handsome state to new heights". It has been clear for some time now that there is a significant anti-incumbency against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. It is believed that Congress is way ahead of BJP in Rajasthan under the strong leadership of Sachin Pilot.

In Ajmer, the sitting MP Sanwar Lal Jat passed away on August 9 past year. The Congress failed to win even one of the 25 seats in the desert state and the vote-share gap was 25 per cent.

In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress once again upset the BJP calculations and romped home easily in both the bypolls. In 2014, BJP's Mahant Chand Nath had defeated Congress's Jitendra Singh, scion of the former Alwar royal family, by a margin of more than 2.83 lakh votes. "This by-election is a vote against BJP's divisive politics". Left Front-backed Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Gargi Chatterjee finished a close third, after running second in the initial rounds of counting.

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