BHOPAL: The Bharatiya Janata Party has registered an emphatic win in Shahdol Lok Sabha and Nepanagar Assembly by-polls, held against the backdrop of demonetisation move.

The BJP candidate in Shahdol Gyan Singh defeated Congress’ Himadri Singh by a margin of 60,383 votes while in Nepanagar, BJP’s Manju Dadu won against Congress’ Antar Singh by a margin of 42,015 votes.

The victory on both seats has once again underlined the popularity of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan across the state. The bye-polls were held after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. The elections results are being widely perceived as people’s verdict on demonetisation. The victory will enable the party to take on the Congress aggressively on the issue. The margin of victory in Shahdol bye-polls has shrunk by 2.41 votes in comparison with the general elections.

Chouhan had worked hard to ensure party’s win from Shahdol and Nepanagar, which are tribal dominated seats. The victory on both seats has added another feather to Chouhan’s cap and helped Chouhan prove his mettle before party’s national leadership. Chouhan campaigned in these areas for around 10 days during which he addressed more than 50 public meetings.

The outcome of the bye-polls is also seen as a public endorsement of the functioning of the state government. The win on both seats is considered to be significant in view of Assembly elections, 2018.

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