HP bypolls: Congress wins Mandi Lok Sabha, all three Assembly seats

  • | Tuesday | 2nd November, 2021

Shimla, Nov 2 (PTI) The Congress on Tuesday won the bypolls to the Mandi Lok Sabha and all three Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, a setback for the ruling BJP which Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said will introspect. The ruling BJP candidate lost her deposit in Jubbal-Kotkhai, where she got only 2,644 votes and lost to a party rebel whose father earlier held the seat. The Congress also retained Fatehpur and Arki Assembly seats, according to results announced by the Election Commission. Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh"s wife Pratibha Singh won the Mandi seat, which falls in the CM Thakur"s home district and was earlier held by the BJP. She defeated BJP"s Khushal Thakur, a Kargil war hero, by a margin of 7,490 votes. Congress candidates Bhawani Singh Pathania, Sanjay and Rohit Thakur won from Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly constituencies, respectively. In Mandi, Pratibha Singh got 3,69,565 votes against 3,62,075 secured by the BJP candidate. Bhawani Singh Pathania (24,449) of the Congress beat BJP"s Baldev Thakur (18,660) by a margin of 5,789 in Fatehpur. Former state minister Dr Rajan Sushant got 12,927 votes as an independent candidate. In Arki, Congress candidate Sanjay (30,798) won by a margin of 3,219 votes from BJP"s Rattan Singh Pal (27,579). In Jubbal-Kotkhai, Rohit Thakur (29,955) of the Congress won by 6,293 votes, defeating independent candidate Chetan Singh Bragta (23,662). BJP candidate Neelam Seraik failed to save her deposit and got only 2,644 votes. Bragta was in the BJP and was expecting ticket from Jubbal-Kotkhai after his father sitting MLA Narinder Singh Bragta"s death in June due to post-covid complications but the BJP preferred to allocate ticket to Seraik. State Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on moral grounds after the BJP"s defeat. He told reporters that the Congress has won the "semifinal" and will also emerge victorious in the Assembly elections in December next year. On the other hand, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the BJP will introspect the causes which led to the party’s defeat in the bypolls. CM Thakur alleged that some BJP workers operated against the party candidates. "Action will be taken against them," he said. "The party will formulate a strategy to overcome its shortcomings and do everything possible to ensure victory in the 2022 Assembly elections," Thakur said. PTI DJI RDK RDK

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