New Delhi: Congress leader and former two-time Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday emrged victorious by a huge margin from Garhi Sampla Kiloi constituency as results of the October 21 Haryana Assembly Elections started streaming in after counting of votes began at 8 AM earlier today. (Click here for all Haryana Assembly Election 2019-related news)

The Congress heavyweight defeated BJP’s Satish Nandal, JJP’s Sandeep Hooda, among others, from the constituency.

Earlier today, after it became clear that no party would be able to cross the majority mark in the 90-seat Assembly, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi spoke to Hooda and gave him a ‘free hand’ to deal with political developments in the state after it became clear that Dushyant Chautala’s JJP, which has emerged as the third-largest party in the state, would become a potential ‘kingmaker’.

The senior leader has been widely credited with leading the party to a tremendous showing in the elections after all exit polls, bar one, showed that the BJP would retain power, with a bigger mandate than the one that brought it to power in Haryana for the first time in 2014.

Earlier today, addressing a press conference in Rohtak, the 72-year-old leader called upon all non-BJP parties in the state to join hands with the Congress to form a ‘strong government’ in Haryana. Calling the incumbent Manohar Lal Khattar government a ‘failure’, he thanked people for voting against the BJP and said that the Congress would ‘definitely’ form government in the state.

Haryana registered a voter turnout of 65%, less than that from five years ago, in the elections which were held in single phase across the state.