November 2, 2021 6:25:42 pm
The results of Madhya Pradesh bypolls are all set to strengthen the ruling BJP in the state, with the saffron party having won one seat and leading on two others, among the four that saw voting. The biggest victory for the BJP is in Jobat in Alirajpur district, a reserved Schedule Tribe seat that the saffron party has wrestled from Congress.
BJP’s Sulochna Rawat won Jobat with a margin of 6,104 votes, after securing 68,752 votes against Congress candidate Mahesh Patel’s 62,672. Interestingly, Rawat had defected from the Congress to join BJP after she was denied a ticket. She joined the BJP with her son and was nominated as candidate within hours of joining.
Jobat is important for the BJP as it has turned its attention to tribal and Dalit voters in the run-up to the next Assembly elections, due in 2023. In the 2018 elections, the BJP suffered considerable losses in its support base among the SC and ST communities. Of the 82 reserved seats, it won 34 – 18 SC and 16 ST seats. This was down from the 59 reserved seats it had won in 2013 – 31 ST and 28 SC seats.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who visited the party office in Bhopal as the counting was underway, told reporters, “Counting is on but the results so far are positive for BJP. I consider Jobat results to be very crucial. The tribals were told that BJP is against them but we came up with schemes for them. I’m happy that we have evidence of their acceptance in the poll results. This is the blessing of our tribal brothers and sisters.”
Among the three other seats, including two Assembly seats of Prithvipur in Niwari, Raigaon in Satna and one Parliamentary seat of Khandwa, the saffron party is leading in Prithvipur and Khandwa. The traditional BJP seat of Raigaon went to the Congress this time. Kaplana Verma won with a margin of 12,096 votes, securing the seat for the Congress after 31 years.
In Prithvipur, where bypolls were necessitated after the demise of Congress MLA Brajendra Singh Rathore, the Congress had given the ticket to Rathore’s son Nitendra Singh Rathore. Nitendra, a hotel management graduate who runs popular hotels in Orchha, is trailing behind BJP’s Dr. Sishupal Yadav with a margin of 15,196 votes at the end of 23rd round of counting.
BJP has also nearly secured its win on Khandwa Parliamentary seat, with its candidate Gyaneshwar Patil leading with over 45,000 votes.
The bypolls on all the four seats were necessitated after the demise of sitting MLAs and one MP. The voting for the bypolls on four seats had concluded on October 30, where a 63.88% voter turnout was recorded in the Khandwa Lok Sabha constituency, while Jobat, Prithvipur and Raigaon assembly seats recorded 55.30%, 78.14% and 69.01% turnout respectively.
Currently, the BJP enjoys a comfortable majority in the MP state Assembly, with 126 out of the 230 total seats, while Congress holds 94 seats. With its victory in two more Assembly seats, the BJP’s tally will reach 128.
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