The ruling Congress in Rajasthan touched the halfway mark in the 200-member state assembly with its candidate Shafia Zubair defeating her BJP rival by a margin of over 12,000 votes in the Ramgarh poll here on Thursday. Zubair secured 44.77 % votes against BJP candidate Sukhwant Singh’s 38.20 %, according to officials of the state election department.
With the results of the Ramgarh assembly poll, Congress now has 100 MLAs in the House and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has one MLA. The BJP has 73 members in the Rajasthan assembly.
After 20 rounds of counting, the Congress candidate secured a total of 83,311 votes while the BJP rival came second with 71,083 votes. The Congress candidate won the seat by defeating her nearest rival of the BJP with a margin of 12,228 votes, department officials said.
Rajasthan Congress president and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said, “This is a vote of confidence yet again by the people of Rajasthan towards the Congress party.”
“It was the first election after the government’s formation and the result is an indication that BJP has lost the support they had,” Pilot told PTI.
The election to the Ramgarh assembly seat, which was won by the BJP in the 2013 state polls, could not be held along with other constituencies due to the death of the BSP candidate ahead of December 7 Rajasthan elections.
Pilot alleged that the BJP tried to polarise communities on the basis of religion and cast in the elections but failed. “I thank the people of Ramgarh who have restored their faith and confidence by making the party win the seat,” he said.
Newly elected MLA Shafia said that she had sought votes on the agenda of development and communal harmony, and these resulted in her being victorious.
“It was an election based on development. People want development and they know that voting for the Congress will ensure that the constituency gets proper development and focus,” 51-year-old Shafia, a former Zila Pramukh from Alwar, said.