Jaipur, April 13 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party won the Dholpur assembly seat in Rajasthan as Shobha Rani Kushavah trounced Congress rival and former minister Banwari Lal Sharma by over 38,000 votes in the April 9 bypoll.
The bye-election for the seat was necessitated after Bahujan Samaj Party legislator Banwari Lal Kushavah, the BJP nominee’s husband, was disqualified due to his conviction in a murder case in 2016.
Of over 1.91 lakh voters, 77.14 per cent cast their ballots. In all, 15 candidates were in the fray.
Shobha Rani, who took a lead from the very first round, polled 91,548 votes against Sharma’s 52,875. There were 952 None Of The Above votes too.
As soon as results were declared, BJP supporters burst firecrackers, danced to the drumbeats and offered sweets to each other.
“It is vote for development. People have voted for ‘Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’,” Medical Education and Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf said.
“It is a win of Raje’s leadership, her vision and the state’s development under her leadership,” Public Works Department Minister Younis Khan told IANS.
The bypoll was a prestige issue for both the Congress and the ruling BJP.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje along with state BJP President Ashok Parnami and her Cabinet colleagues spent days in the constituency to woo voters. Raje also organised a road show in the constituency.
Congress fielded senior leaders, including state unit President Sachin Pilot, former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Leader of Opposition in assembly Rameshwar Dudi to campaign extensively in favour of party candidate.
In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress won only 21 of the 200 assembly seats whereas the BJP swept the polls by winning 163 seats.
The BJP had 160 members in the assembly, with the figure now reaching 161 with the Dholpur win. The Congress has 24 MLAs in the 200-member assembly.