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BJP wins Jind bypoll amid EVM row; Congress, INLD bite dust (Fifth Lead)

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IANS Chandigarh
Firming up its grip on state politics just ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, Haryana's ruling BJP won the Jind Assembly seat by-election in a multi-cornered contest on Thursday by 12,930 votes even as questions were raised about mismatch of serial numbers of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Krishan Lal Middha was declared elected after getting 50,578 votes. The winner will have a tenure of only nine months before the next Assembly polls.
This is the first time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged the Jind Assembly seat, making a new beginning in this "Jat-land" seat.
A visibly happy Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said in Chandigarh: "People have again reposed their faith in the policies, governance and transparency of the BJP government in the state and the Centre. BJP workers worked hard.
Middha, a non-Jat candidate, is the son of two-time INLD legislator Hari Chand Middha, who passed away in August last year. The recently launched Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) made an impressive debut in the by-election by finishing second. Its candidate, young turk Digvijay Singh Chautala, got 37,648 votes.
Jind Deputy Commissioner and returning officer for the election Amit Khatri said the counting process was completed smoothly.
The Congress, which fielded a "strong candidate" in Randeep Surjewala, the party's national spokesman, finished a poor third with just 22,742 votes.
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which won the Jind seat in the last two Assembly elections and is the main opposition party in the Haryana Assembly, fared miserably.
The INLD finished fifth among leading parties, getting only 3,454 votes. Its candidate lost his security deposit.
The Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP), launched by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini, got 13,582 votes to finish at the fourth position.
Voting took place on January 28 with 130,859 (nearly 76 per cent) of the over 1.72 lakh voters exercising their franchise. There was tension in Jind town, around 190 km from here, for some time and the Haryana Police and paramilitary forces used canes to disperse protesters during a demonstration near the counting centre.
Serial numbers of some EVMs did not match with the list and this was objected to by the contesting candidates inside the counting centre. The matter was confirmed by both Chautala and Surjewala and their election agents.
The counting process was stopped for some time after the complaint regarding the EVMs but it resumed later.
The by-election was important for all four major parties in the fray -- the BJP, Congress, INLD and the JJP as both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are to be held later in 2019.
Khattar said that people in Haryana will vote for the BJP and the party will win all 10 Lok Sabha seats as well as Assembly elections this year.
--IANS
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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 9:10 PM IST

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