Rajasthan Bypolls: Congress clinches all three seats from ruling BJP

Rajasthan bypoll results Counting of votes for Ajmer Alwar Mandalgarh seats today

Leadership mattered too. Pilot, as the Congress's Rajasthan party chief, has worked hard on the ground over the past four years, creating and capitalising on the resentment against the Raje government.

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. This 17-0 lead to the Congress across demographic and geographic divides looks ominous ahead of Assembly elections scheduled for November 2018.

Bypolls were necessitated in these three seats due to the deaths of the sitting lawmakers.

Will the results trigger a rethink on simultaneous polls?

The Congress's Vivek Dhakad won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat, defeating his nearest BJP rival Shakti Singh Hada by almost 13,000 votes.




The strength of Congress is still much lower compared to the BJP, though the party is high on morale and its leader is ready to question "why people mandated against the BJP" in the house. In Ajmer where Sachin Pilot lost by 1.8 lakh votes in 2014, the Congress was leading by 80,000 votes. Ajmer Lok Sabha Constituency, Congress leading by 24256. He claimed that the victory of the Congress is the result of the outrage of people who were upset that the BJP didn't take the initiatives to ban Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmaavat. In Alwar where BJP won by 2.84 lakh votes in 2014, the pendulum has swung the other way to give Congress a 1.95 lakh win. Party sources rejected the idea that the elections were a referendum on Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who had campaigned extensively.

All three seats are linked to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's top lieutenants in Rajasthan - Pilot, CP Joshi and Jitendra Singh Bhanwar. But he lost to Sanwar Lal Jat, who died a year ago. The election was necessitated following the death of BJP MLA Kirti Kumari due to swine flu in August previous year. The saffron outfit, and everyone else, was completely trounced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, but the BJP did manage to come second in an assembly seat.

The BJP suffered a devastating blow as it faced a complete rout in five byelections held in Rajasthan and West Bengal.

In Mandalgarh, Congress rebel Gopal Malviya gave a scare to the party's official candidate Vivek Dhakar by cornering over 40000 votes. "This by-election is a vote against BJP's divisive politics".

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