BJP, Congress claim victory ahead of Chhattisgarh by-poll results

Sunday, October 3, 2010

RAIPUR - Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress Sunday claimed victory in a crucial assembly by-poll, a day before the results are announced.

“The voter turnout was higher this time. This means the BJP will deliver another humiliating defeat to the Congress,” BJP election in-charge for the Bhatgaon seat and senior state minister Brijmohan Agrawal said.

The Congress said the results will expose all the claims and calculations of the BJP.

“Let them think what they want, the result will be stunning for BJP. A high voter turnout has always produced result against the incumbent party,” Congress Chhattisgarh unit president Dhanendra Sahu said.

The Congress has 39 members in the state assembly and it needs to wrest the seat from the BJP to narrow the margin with the ruling party as a by-election for one more seat - Balod in Durg district -is set to be held soon following death of the BJP’s sitting legislator Madanlal Sahu in August.

The BJP comfortably won the Bhatgaon seat in the last assembly polls in November 2008 and the Congress candidate even lost his deposit when the polling percentage was nearly 72 percent, against 75 percent this time around. The party has 47 seats in a 90-member state assembly.

The BJP is desperate to retain the seat which fell vacant following the death of Ravi Shankar Tripathi, 55, in a car crash in April.

The saffron party fielded the late leader’s wife Rajni Tripathi while the Congress picked U.S. Singhdeo of the erstwhile royal family of Surguja as its candidate. There are 12 candidates in the fray.

Voting for the Bhatgaon seat in Surguja district, about 400 km from here, was held Friday.

The BJP leaders here are confident of party’s victory as women voters came out in large numbers compared to their male counterparts for voting.

Filed under: Politics

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