The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal [ Images ] candidate Joginerpal Jain on Thursday wrested the Moga assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival by 18,845 votes.
Jain, who had recently joined SAD after defecting from the Congress, registered his third successive win by defeating Congress' Vijay Kumar Sathi.
"While Jain got 69,265 votes, Sathi managed 50,420 votes. Sanjah Morcha's candidate Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal could manage only 7,401 votes," an election office spokesman said in Moga. The by-poll, whose result was declared here today, was held on February 23 and 72.61 per cent of total 1,79,448 electorates had exercised their franchise.
The by-poll was necessitated after Jain deserted the Congress to join the SAD. There were total ten candidates in the fray.
In the 117-member PunjabaAssembly, now the SAD tally has touched 57, its ally Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] has 12 members, the Congress 45 and there are three independents.
The SAD is now one short of simple majority (58 members) in the assembly. However, two independents are attached to it.
The result is a big victory for SAD president and Punjab [ Images ] Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal under whose leadership the SAD again returned to power in Punjab in January polls.
Later, under Sukhbir's command, the party had swept the Municipal Corporation polls in the state and also drubbed the
Congress backed P S Sarna in the Delhi [ Images ] Gurudwara Management Committee polls by a comfortable margin.
The result is a setback for Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, who suffered back-to-back defeats from the ruling party.