Bhopal: In a major setback to ruling dispensation in the state, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost Chitrakoot assembly seat to Congress in the bypoll, results of which was announced on Sunday. Congress candidate Neelanshu Chaturvedi emerged victorious defeating ruling party’s Shankar Dayal Tripathi by 14,133 votes. As many as 2,455 votes were polled under the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) category. While Chaturvedi received 66,810, Tripathi could muster only 52,677 votes.
Around 65 per cent voting was recorded in the bypoll, which was necessitated in following death of Congress MLA Prem Singh (65). Singh had won from Chitrakoot, bordering UP, in the 1998, 2003 and 2013 state Assembly polls. In 2008, he had lost the seat to BJP’s Surendra Singh Gaharwar. The bypoll turned into prestige issue between chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh. The latter had even campaigned for nine days in the bypoll.
The victory which follows on the win in Ater bypoll will certainly act as moral booster for Congress workers and a setback for ruling BJP. The two losses, one after another, is likely to leave top functionaries worried. In a bid to wrest the seat from Congress, the Chouhan government had dispatched six ministers along with horde of office-bearers for campaigning. Even chief minister had camped in the assembly segment for three days.
Congress workers celebrated the victory by bursting crackers outside the party’s state headquarters, Indira Bhawan in Bhopal, whereas the state BJP headquarters, Deendayal Parishad, wore a deserted look. As per the Hindu mythology, during his exile, Lord Rama had spent almost 12 years in the forests of Chitrakoot with wife Sita and brother Laxmana. The BJP had invoked Lord Rama during its campaign for the bypoll. After the bypoll victory, the jubilant Congress workers raised slogans such as “BJP ke lag gaye kam, jai shri Ram, jai shri Ram (the BJP is defeated, hail Lord Rama)”. Asked about the saffron party invoking Lord Rama in the run-up to the bypoll, state Congress chief Arun Yadav told reporters that it was his partymen, who were the true worshippers of the Hindu god. “Lord Rama helps the honest and upright, not the corrupt,” he said.
This victory is moral boosting for Congress ahead of the upcoming bypolls in Mungawali and Kalaras. National leadership of the party have extended their wishes to the state leadership over the victory that comes ahead of the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.
Congress exile in state has ended from ‘taposthali’ of Lord Rama. The party has won from areas where Chouhan held public meetings. BJP candidate has been defeated from his own village as well as village of his in-laws. The poll results show that the people of the state want Chouhan’s exit now
– Ajay Singh, LoP
This is one of the seats which traditionally belong to Congress. However, in 2008 election, BJP candidate Surendra Singh Gaharwar had won this seat. Chitrakoot does not reflect mood of state. We did expect to win. Now, we will review the outcome and find out causes behind our defeat
– N Chauhan BJP state chief
Chief Minister speak
Public mandate is supreme in democracy. I thank the people for their support. Nothing will come in the way of Chitrakoot’s development. My aim is to develop entire Madhya Pradesh.