Congress’ Anil Sharma defeated BJP’s Ashok Kumar Pincha by a margin of 26,850 votes in Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar assembly by-poll on Thursday, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot terming it “people’s seal on his government’s good governance and public welfare schemes”. Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) candidate Lalchand Moond came third. A total of 10 candidates were in the fray. Sharma got 91,357 votes, Pincha 64,505 and Moond 46,753 votes.
This is the 10th time the Congress won the seat since Independence. The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of senior Congress leader and MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma.
Expressing gratitude to the voters, Congress leader and Chief Minister Gelot claimed that the bypoll result was a clear message that the Congress will form the government in Rajasthan in 2023 with an absolute majority. “Congratulations to Congress candidate Anil Sharma for the victory in the Sardarshahar bypoll and heartfelt gratitude to all voters. This victory is the seal of the public on the transparent, sensitive, accountable good governance and public welfare schemes of the Congress government for education, health and social security,” Gehlot tweeted.
He also said, “In the nine bypolls held in Rajasthan in the last four years, the Congress has won seven seats. The BJP has been able to win only one seat. In these too, the BJP candidate’s deposit was forfeited on one seat and it landed on the third position in another seat.” “This shows the people of Rajasthan have completely rejected the BJP. No matter how much the BJP lies, the people of Rajasthan are with the truth and in 2023, the tradition will change and they will make the Congress win again,” Gehlot added.
State Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the voters and congratulated the party workers for Anil Sharma’s victory in the by-election.
“The victory margin has increased since the last election. This shows the public has faith in the development works of the state government and in the Congress,” he said.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore said that the culture of compassion and empathy has become a political tradition. People had sympathy with the family of the late MLA Bhanwarlal Sharma.
“The Congress has won this by-election on a sympathy wave. But a small party such as RLP taking a sizable share of votes is a matter of introspection. We will avenge this defeat in the general election,” he said.
Counting of votes for the by-poll to the Sardarshahar Assembly seat in Rajasthan's Churu district began on Thursday morning, an official said.
The counting commenced at 8 a.m., the official said. The constituency recorded a voting percentage of 72.09% on polling day on Monday.
2,89,843 voters eligible to exercise their franchise
A total of 2,89,843 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the bypoll necessitated by the demise of Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma, who passed away on October 9 after prolonged illness.
Polling was held amid tight security arrangements across all 295 booths in the assembly segment.
10 candidates in fray
The Congress fielded Sharma's son Anil Kumar while former MLA Ashok Kumar is the BJP candidate.
Eight other candidates are in the fray: Lalchand of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), Sanwarmal Meghwal of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Parmana Ram of the Indian People's Green Party, and Independent candidates Subhash Chandra, Vijay Pal Singh Sheoran, Umesh Sahu, Prem Singh, and Surendra Singh Rajpurohit.
In the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the Congress currently has 107 MLAs, BJP 71, RLP three, CPI(M) and Bhartiya Tribal Party two each, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) one, and 13 are Independents.