Embarrassment for BJP in Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll; lost all 4 seats to Congress
On Tuesday, the Congress won the Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll along with all three Assembly constituencies — Arki, Fatehpur, and Jubbal-Kotkhai. Congress defeated the ruling BJP with comfortable margins.
The Congress retained Fatehpur and Arki Assembly seats while it wrested the Jubbal-Kotkhai seat from the BJP, according to poll results announced by the Election Commission on Tuesday.
The prestigious seat of Mandi, the home district for Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was won by the Congress candidate Pratibha Singh. Pratibha Singh, now a third-time MP from Mandi, is the wife of the late Virbhadra Singh. She defeated the BJP’s greenhorn Brigadier Khushal Thakur (retired), a decorated officer who played a crucial role in the 1999 Kargil war, by a slender margin of 8,766 votes.
Congress veteran and six-time Chief Minister late Virbhadra Singh’s legacy was put to test against BJP’s Chief Minister Thakur’s credibility during the parliamentary bypoll of Mandi, one of the country’s toughest and sprawling constituencies.
Pratibha Singh had lost the Mandi seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. She took this opportunity to remind the electorates that the victory in the Mandi by-election “will be a tribute to Virbhadra Singh.”
Eyeing sympathy votes, Pratibha Singh, who was banking largely on her first-time legislator son Vikramaditya Singh for campaigning, sought votes on development carried out by her husband during his three stints as an MP from Mandi and six terms as the Chief Minister.
The seat was vacant since the death of two-time BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, who defeated Congress candidate Ashray Sharma, the grandson of former Telecommunications Minister Sukh Ram in his electoral debut, with a margin of 3.98 lakh votes in 2019.
Her husband was elected from Mandi in 1971, 1980, and 2009. However, Virbhadra Singh lost the Mandi seat in 1977. At the time of his death, he was representing the Arki Assembly seat.
The Mandi constituency, which includes Kullu, Mandi, and some areas of Chamba and Shimla districts, besides the tribal-dominated Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, is one of the biggest in the country.
Congress candidate Sanjay Awasthy won the Arki assembly seat by 3,277 votes, while in Fatehpur Congress candidate Bhawani Singh Pathania defeated his nearest rival Baldev Thakur of the BJP by 5,652 votes.
The key contest was between Congress candidate Rohit Thakur and BJP rebel and Independent Chetan Bragta on the Jubbal-Kotkhai seat. Thakur won the seat by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri told IANS that this poll was the semifinal ahead of the 2022 Assembly poll. “The BJP has lost faith in the state owing to anti-people policies. It is a vote for change. We are going to make a comeback in the state in the next Assembly elections,” he said.
[With Inputs from IANS]
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- Devotees equate the tax imposed by the Bihar government on temples to ‘Jizya’, demand complete rollback - December 3, 2021
- About 18.17 lakh farmers received MSP benefit worth over Rs.57000 cr in the ongoing Kharif season - December 2, 2021
- Microsoft is discouraging Windows 11 users from installing Chrome, Firefox browser and install its own Edge browser instead - December 2, 2021