THE RULING BJP in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday comfortably won the bypolls to Shahdol Lok Sabha and Nepanagar assembly constituencies.
The Congress, which sought to paint the move to withdraw high-value currencies as a step against the poor, was fancying its chances in Shahdol, where it had fielded Himadri Singh, whose parents had earlier represented the tribal constituency.
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Himadri, 29, succeeded in reducing the BJP’s victory margin from 2.41 lakh votes in the 2014 general elections to 60,383.
The BJP candidate, Gyan Singh, who is the SC/ST Minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state, was said to be reluctant to contest the bypoll, necessitated by the death of party MP Dalpat Singh Paraste.
Himadri had accused Gyan Singh of insulting her by singing what she called was a sexist song and had complained about it to Chief Minister Chouhan. She had also accused Chouhan and other BJP leaders of trying to woo her to the BJP.
In Nepanagar (ST) assembly seat in Burhanpur district, the BJP candidate, Manju Dadu, daughter of Rajendra Dadu whose death in June this year necessitated the bypoll, got 99,626 votes.
Her Congress rival Antarsingh Barde got 57,428 votes. At 42,198 votes, the victory margin was bigger than that of her father’s.
State BJP chief Nandkumar Chouhan attributed today’s victory in Shahdol to the CM’s stature and the goodwill of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said the twin victories proved that demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 had received wide support from the people.