Congress wins Chitrakoot despite Chouhan’s 13 public meetings

Ahead of assembly elections in Gujarat next month and in Madhya Pradesh scheduled next year, the victory in the byelection is a shot in the arm of the Congress

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Political Bureau

As many as 13 public meetings addressed by Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the constituency, where he also stayed overnight in a tribal hamlet, failed to stop the Congress from winning the byelection to fill up the Chitrakoot seat on Sunday.

Congress candidate Nilanshu Chaturvedi won the seat by defeating his nearest BJP rival by over 14 thousand votes.

BJP had pressed the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also to campaign in the byelection. But neither the efforts by the two chief ministers nor the use of state machinery, promise of ‘Vikas’ ( development ) in the constituency cut ice with the electorate.

BJP failed to overtake votes polled by the Congress in even the 13 places where Chauhan addressed rallies or where he spent a night in a tribal household.

The victory, said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, thanked the voters and said that the victory signaled the “winds of change” blowing in the political landscape of the country.

Chaturvedi was on Sunday declared elected to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly from Chitrakoot constituency, defeating his BJP rival by 14,133 votes. The Congress nominee led right from the start of the counting, took an early lead and stayed ahead of the pack till the end.

Chaturvedi received 66,810 votes and his BJP rival 52,677 out of the 126,903 votes declared valid.

The election to the constituency in Satna district was called following the death of sitting Congress legislator Prem Singh. A total of 12 candidates were in the fray including nine independents.

Reactions on Twitter was mixed. But many referred to the significance of Chitrakoot , which straddles MP and UP, in the epic Ramayana and the irony of BJP losing the election. Some of them were as follows :

Even Lord Ram is wary of the BJP brand of Ram Rajya.

त्रकूटकेघाटपैभईसंतनकीभीर, तुलसीदासचंदनघिसेंतिलकदेतरघुबीर। Why #Chitrakoot is important. Nothing to do with today's election result. It also has a Ram temple built by largesse from Aurangzeb. A real surprise.

So,Congress wins in Chitrakoot, one of Hinduism’s holiest town. Yogi Adityanath was also in Chitrakoot recently

BJP supporters took to Twitter to play down the Congress victory and point out that Chitrakoot was always a Congress bastion :

Cong MLA Prem Singh, died in May 2017. He had won the seat thrice in 1998, 2003 & 2013. Congress retains #Chitrakoot in 2017 bypoll. Citizen's reaction : nothing out of the ordinary. Congress' reaction: There is a cong wave now

Even in 2003 Tsunami, Bjp couldn’t win #Chitrakoot where it was not even a runner-up. Since 1980 this seat has been Congress stronghold which it lost only thrice (1990, 93 & 2008) So it will be too early to jump to any conclusion based on today’s result.

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Published: 12 Nov 2017, 11:45 PM