The opposition Congress on Thursday wrested the Mandalgarh Assembly seat from the ruling BJP as its candidate Vivek Dhakar trounced his nearest rival Shakti Singh Hada by 12,976 votes. While Dhakar got 70,146 votes, Hada got 57,170 votes in the by-poll held on January 29. In Mandalgarh, Hada, Dhakar, and independent Gopal Malviya were the top contenders among eight candidates. The by-poll to the seat was necessitated after BJP MLA Kirti Kumari died of swine flu on August 28 last year.
Voting in the by-polls for the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan was held peacefully on January 29, recording polling percentages of 65 %, 62 % and 80 % respectively. A total of 23 candidates are in the fray in Ajmer and 11 in Alwar. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are involved in a direct fight in Ajmer and Alwar which too were held by the BJP when its sitting MPs died. Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat passed away on August 9 last, while Alwar MP Mahant Chand Nath died on September 17 last year following a prolonged illness.
Congress state unit President Sachin Pilot told the media that the victory was “dedicated to the public” which he claimed had “rejected” the BJP government and its corrupt policies. “The arrogant attitude of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia has boomeranged on the ruling party. Although all BJP leaders campaigned, the public was not convinced by their fake promises.” The ruling BJP on Thursday conceded defeat in Rajasthan, where the Congress won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat and was poised to grab the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats.
Rajasthan BJP chief Ashok Parnami told reporters: “We respect the people’s mandate and we will analyse the reasons for our defeat. I am taking responsibility for the defeat.” The Congress drew a blank in Rajasthan in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.