Indore: The Congress defeated Bharatiya Janata Party and wrested its traditional Jhabua Assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh bypoll, the counting for which was held on October 24. Congress candidate and former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria won by margin of over 27,804 votes, defeating BJP’s Bhanu Bhuria, who was contesting his maiden election.
Kantilal Bhuria polled 96,155 votes while his BJP rival got 68,351 votes. The Congress lost the seat to BJP in last year’s Assembly polls when BJP’s G S Damor defeated Kantilal Bhuria’s son Vikrant Bhuria by 10,437 votes.
The bypoll in this seat was necessitated because Damor had won the Lok Sabha election from Ratlam seat. Damor subsequently resigned as MLA from Jhabua, which necessitated the by-election.
The electoral battle for Jhabua was considered to be a prestige point for Chief Minister Kamal Nath as well as for his predecessor and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The Congress, had won the Jhabua Assembly seat 10 times. The BJP had emerged victorious on this seat thrice since 1952.
The counting was held at the Polytechnic College campus in Jhabua district. About 62 per cent voters exercised their franchise during the polling held on Monday for the seat, where the state’s ruling Congress and opposition BJP are locked in a keen contest. The seat has over 2 lakh voters.