As the counting of votes in the bypolls on two assembly seats Madhya Pradesh and Odisha’s Bijepur is on its last leg, Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party has claimed victory on Madhya Pradesh’s Mungaoli assembly seat as well as on Kolaras seat. At the same time, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has won Bijepur seat in Odisha. These bypolls which are taking place nearly a year before the Lok Sabha elections 2019 and Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2018. The counting on Assembly seats in Mungaoli and Kolaras in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha’s Bijepur began on Wednesday morning.

By-elections in both the states were crucial for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which is facing is criticism over its government’s economic front failure and growing problem of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the country. In Madhya Pradesh, just before the assembly elections, political pundits considered these elections as the semi-final and a direct fight between BJP and Congress but after Congress winning the Mungali seat, it seems BJP is losing the ground. 

Congress has won the Kolaras seat by 8083 votes. The party garnered 82515 votes while BJP only managed 74432 votes. In a similar contest on Mungaoli Assembly seat, Congress’s Brajendra Singh Yadav who was leading by the margin of more than 3222 votes, has claimed the victory by 2124 votes and defeated BJP’s Bai Saheb Rao Deshraj Singh Yadav. The bypolls for Mungaoli and Kolaras assembly seats were held on February 24. Mungaoli recorded 77.05% voter turnout while Kolaras recorded 70.40% turnout. Both the seats got vacant after the deaths of Congress MLA’s Mahendra Singh Kalukheda from Mungaoli and Ram Singh Yadav from Kolaras. Both parties had held many rallies in both constituencies to topple each other.

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Bhartiya Janata Party is ruling Madhya Pradesh from the year 2008. On the other hand, there was a triangular fight between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which is the state’s power, Congress and the BJP. But, Rita Sahu from Biju Janata Dal won Odisha’s Bijepur assembly seat by a margin of 41933 votes. After winning the Bijepur Assembly seat, Odisha’s Chief Minister celebrated the party’s victory and said, “I would like to express my gratitude to the public for showering their blessings on BJD. I am sure we will do very well in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections as well.” Bijepur Assembly seat got vacant after the death of Congress MLA Subal Sahu in August last year. BJP has nominated Ashok Paigrahi while the Congress has fielded Pranay Sahu. The assembly seat had recorded 72% turn up in voting.

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