Congress wins in Ramgarh, takes Rajasthan tally to 100
The Congress on Thursday comfortably won the Ramgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan, taking its own tally in the 200-member house to 100 and improving its numbers in the House where several non-BJP MLAs support it.
Congress candidate Shafia Khan won by a margin of 12,228 votes after polling 83,311 votes. Her nearest rival, Bharatiya Janata Party's Sukhwant Singh, got 71,083 votes.
Jagat Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) finished third with 24,856 votes.
An elated Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot thanked the people of Ramgarh for the victory margin.
"People of Ramgarh have taken a right decision at the right time. I thank them and extend my gratitude to them. This win will motivate our workers and help us take a step ahead towards our Mission 25 in the Lok Sabha elections," he said.
Rajasthan has 25 Lok Sabha seats.
Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot hailed the people of Ramgarh for choosing development and growth over issues that divide the society.
"This victory has proved that people have put a stamp on Rahul Gandhi's leadership in the country," he added.
An overjoyed Shafia Khan said: "The BJP talks too much and does little. They closed the schools which we had started, they were biased in implementing the social welfare schemes and hence people wanted to come out of the polarized environment they had created.
"So people have voted unitedly for the Congress," she added.
While Shafia Khan got 44.77 per cent of all votes, the BJP's vote share was 38.20 per cent. Overall, 241 votes went to NOTA (None of the Above).
A disappointed BJP blamed the BSP for its defeat.
BJP leader Laxmikant Pareek said: "BSP's Jagat Singh card proved dear to our party. Around 24,000 votes comprising Jats and other Hindu communities went into its kitty, denting the BJP votes.
"Had BSP not played the Jagat Singh card, BJP would have been a winner."
The election on this seat was scheduled on December 7 along with the rest of Rajasthan Assembly seats but was postponed after BSP candidate Laxman Singh died due to cardiac arrest.
Eventually, polling was held on January 28 with a high voter turnout.
There were 20 candidates in the fray but the main contest involved Shafia Khan, Sukhwant Singh and Jagat Singh.
The Congress aimed to win the seat to hit a century mark in the 200-member House. This win will limit its dependency on the other anti-BJP parties in the Assembly.
For a simple majority on its own, the Congress needs 101 seats.
While the BJP has 73 members in the Assembly, there are 13 independents and BSP has six members. The RLP holds three seats, CPI-M and BTP two each while the RLD has one seat. -IANS