Congress trounces BJP in Rajasthan bypolls

Posted February 06, 2018

The results are considered to be a litmus test for the ruling Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in the state, which goes to state-wide assembly polls later this year. "Ajit Jogi may cut into the Congress vote, which will help the BJP", said the BJP functionary. The elections to the Lok Sabha constituencies were necessitated by the deaths of Sanwarlal Jat (Ajmer) and Mahant Chand Nath Yogi (Alwar). Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who got a splendid opportunity with a massive mandate in 2013, failed on every front in fulfilling people's expectations.

The BJP had won all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan in the 2014 general election. The BJP has lost some Assembly elections since 2014.

When the ruling party loses all three seats (two Lok Sabha and one Assembly) to the main Opposition party in by-polls, that too in an election year, it is safe to say the hitherto incipient signs of anti-incumbency have definitively metamorphosed into established fact.

The Congress also won Ajmer, which is a personal triumph for Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot as he had represented the seat from 2009 to 2014. Here the BJP candidate Jaswant Singh Yadav had blatantly tried to polarise the electorate on communal lines when he said, "If you're Hindu, vote for me and if you're Muslim, vote for the Congress". In Mandalgarh, BJP's Shakti Singh Hada and Congress' Vivek Dhakad are balanced for an extreme battle.

The party has won Ajmer, Alwar parliamentary and Mandalagarh assembly consistencies which it snatched from BJP. In Alwar and Ajmer Congress bagged 58% and 52% of the vote respectively against 40% for the BJP in both places.

In Alwar, Congress increases its lead over BJP to 39,246 votes. While Ahmed polled 76,7219 votes, Mallick got 293,018.

Even the uptick of communal violence is not helping the BJP in Rajasthan as it did in Uttar Pradesh. Since it has lost in both Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, it is hard to say if the verdict against the Centre or the state government.

The result was more or less similar in Noapara assembly constituency, where TMC won by a huge margin. This time, the Left and Congress fought the polls separately. The BJP candidate came second with 38,711 votes, while the CPI (M) candidate was slightly behind at third spot with 35,497 votes.