Its time for celebrations for Congress for winning the crucial election of Chitrakoot Madhya Pradesh, beating the BJP by a margin of over 14,000 votes.
Since the sitting legislator Prem Sing has passed away during May, he seat, a Congress bastion, had fallen vacant after Mr Singh had won the assembly constituency, bordering Uttar Pradesh, in the 1998, 2003 and 2013 elections. But in 2008, he had lost the seat to BJP’s Surendra Singh Gaharwar
This time the BJP, which fielded Shankarlal Tripathi, had deployed its top guns to campaign for him. Besides Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and MP BJP chief Nandkumar Chouhan had also campaigned in Chitrakoot.
But Mr Tripathi was beaten by a margin of 14,333 votes by Congress candidate Neelandhu Chaturvedi. Mr Chaturvedi polled 66,810 votes against Mr Tripathi’s 52,677.
The Congress had built its campaign around the alleged corruption and bad administration of the BJP, which won the state for the third consecutive time in 2013.
Accepting defeat, the Chief Minister, Mr Chouhan, tweeted saying public mandate was supreme in democracy.
“I thank the people for their support. Nothing will come in the way of Chitrakoot’s development. My aim is to develop entire Madhya Pradesh,” the tweet further read.
The state’s Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh said, “The exile of the Congress in the state has ended from the taposthaliof Lord Rama. The party has won from areas where Chouhan held public meetings. The BJP candidate has been defeated from his own village as well as the village of his in-laws.”
According to the epic Ramayana, during his exile, Lord Rama had spent almost 12 years in the forests of Chitrakoot with wife Sita and brother Lakshmana.