Congress candidate Shafia Zubair won the Ramgarh assembly poll in Rajasthan by defeating her nearest Bharatiya Janata Party rival Sukhwant Singh by a margin of 12,228 votes, officials said.
With this, Congress’s tally has increased to 100 in the 200-member Rajasthan assembly. Its ally -- Rashtriya Lok Dal -- has one seat thus the government is in comfortable position.
Zubair got 44.77 per cent votes by securing 83,311 votes while Singh secured 71,083 votes, the officials of the Rajasthan election department said.
Newly-elected MLA Shafia said that she had sought votes on the agenda of development and communal harmony, and these resulted in her being victorious.
“It was an election based on development. People want development and they know that voting for the Congress will ensure that the constituency gets proper development and focus,” 51-year-old Shafia, a former Zila Pramukh from Alwar, said.
Bahujan Samaj Party candidate and former union minister Natwar Singh’s Son, Jagat Singh, was third. He secured 24,856 votes, they said.
In total, 20 candidates contested the Ramgarh election on January 28.
The election to the assembly seat could not be held along with other constituencies due to the death of the BSP candidate ahead of December 7 Rajasthan elections.
Rajasthan Congress president and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said, “This is a vote of confidence yet again by the people of Rajasthan towards the Congress party."
"It was the first election after the government's formation and the result is an indication that BJP has lost the support they had,” Pilot said.
Pilot alleged that the BJP tried to polarise communities on the basis of religion and cast in the elections but failed.
“I thank the people of Ramgarh who have restored their faith and confidence by making the party win the seat,” he said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party won the high-stakes Jind bypoll in Haryana on Thursday with party candidate Krishan Middha defeating his nearest rival, Digvijay Singh Chautala of Jannayak Janata Party, by over 12,000 votes.
The BJP wrested the seat from the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal, which was decimated in the by-election.
Middha won by a margin of 12,935 votes, Jind Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Amit Khatri said.
JJP was floated last month by Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala after a split in the INLD following a family feud.
The Congress, which had fielded its senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, an MLA from Kaithal, ended up at the third spot.
Middha, 48, is a BAMS doctor, whose father’s death necessitated the bypoll.