The Ramgarh election and Jind by-election were major tests for all the four big parties
New Delhi: The ruling BJP and the Congress scored a victory each today in the last polls before the national election, due by May. The BJP won by-polls in Haryana's Jind, where the counting of votes was briefly stalled over protests and allegations of EVM or vote machine tampering. The Congress won the Ramgarh election in Rajasthan, adding one more seat to its tally to touch the half-way mark of 100 in the 200-seat assembly. Congress candidate Saafiya Zubair, won by a huge margin in Ramgarh. The BJP's Krishan Middha won in Jind by over 50,000 votes.
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The Congress has a simple majority in Rajasthan along with one member from its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal after the results of the Ramgarh election, which could not be held along with the rest of the state on December 7 due to the death of the BSP candidate, Laxman Singh.
"I am very happy the congress now has 100 seats and this has been done through me," said Saafiya Zubair. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot called it proof that Rahul Gandhi's minimum income guarantee plan had won the support of the masses.
Ramgarh saw a polarised campaign as incidents of cow vigilantism and the lynching of a Muslim man - Rakbar Khan - last year, during the BJP's rule, dominated the discourse.
In Jind, BJP candidate Krishan Middha, won by a huge margin. He is the son of two-time INLD (Indian National Lok Dal) lawmaker Hari Chand Middha, whose death is the reason the bypolls were held.
As his party celebrated the victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "This is a seat where the party has never won before. Glad to see the development agenda of BJP finding support among all sections of society."
Counting was stopped for some time as protests broke out at an election centre with allegations that the Electronic Voting Machine had been manipulated. The rapid action force and the police had to use lathicharge to control the swelling crowds.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is also the legislator from Kaital, ended up as a poor number three in the prestige contest.
Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said BJP's win is a clear indication of "faith of people". ""The comprehensive win of the BJP in the bypolls is a clear indication of the increasing faith of the people in the state government''s transparent and graft-free governance and uniform development policy," he said.
The newly launched Jannayak Janata Party (JJP)'s Digvijay Chautala led in the initial rounds of counting before dropping to the second position. Digvijay Chautala is the younger son of Ajay Singh Chautala, who broke away from his father OM Prakash Chautala's INLD and floated his party in December.