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BJP wins Jind bypoll, JJP puts up spirited fight, INLD loses deposit


Press Trust of India Jind (Har)
Ruling BJP Thursday won the high-stakes Jind bypoll, which also saw the newly floated JJP scoring convincingly higher than the parent party INLD and Congress candidate Randeep Singh Surjewala settling for the third spot.
BJP nominee Krishan Middha (48) wrested the seat from the main opposition Indian National Lok Dal, forcing it to the fifth place.
The Jannayak Janata Party, which broke away from the INLD just weeks ago following a feud in the Chautala family, put up a spirited fight and finished second.
The BJP candidate defeated JJP's Digvijay Singh Chautala (27) by 12,935 votes, Jind Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Amit Khatri said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of Jind for voting for the BJP. This is a seat where the Party has never won before, he tweeted.
The bypoll was ordered after the death of Middha's father, INLD's Hari Chand Middha.
Out of 1,30,828 votes polled, Middha secured 50,556 against Digvijay Chautala's 37,631. Randeep Singh Surjewal, a spokesperson for the Congress and its MLA from Kaithal in Haryana, got 22,740 votes.
At fifth place, INLD candidate Umed Singh Redhu ended up not only behind the JJP but also trailed another new outfit the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP) led by BJP's rebel MP Raj Kumar Saini.
Redhu managed just 3,454 votes and forfeited his security deposit. LSP candidate Vinod Ashri polled 13,582 votes.
The JJP was floated last month after a rift between jailed leader Ajay Singh Chautala and his brother Abhay Chautala surfaced in the open. The JJP candidate is Ajay Chautala son and a grandson of Om Prakash Chautala.
The winning BJP candidate Krishan Middha, an Ayurvedic doctor, is from the Punjabi community.
The Congress, the JJP and the INLD had put up candidates from the Jat community even though the constituency has almost always backed non-Jats.
The victory triggered celebrations in the Bharatiya Janata Party camp, already upbeat after securing wins recently in the mayoral polls in five Haryana cities.
As the trends from the counting of votes came in, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the people had given a mandate for the BJP government's transparent policies and the corruption-free, all-round development of the state.
The bypoll was particularly important for the newly-floated JJP, which was keen to make its mark after the split.
Digvijay Chautala said the number of votes secured by him was proof enough of the tremendous support we have got from the people here.
Losing candidate Surjewala said the Congress will put up an impressive performance in the coming Lok Sabha polls and form the government at the Centre.
Digvijay Chautala maintained a lead up to the third round of counting when votes from the mainly rural segments were being considered.
But Middha bounced back and took the lead in the subsequent rounds.
Middha's father Hari Chand Middha had twice represented the Jind assembly segment for the INLD. But the son joined the BJP recently.
With the win, the tally of BJP MLAs in the 90-member assembly has gone up to 48.
The Congress and the INLD have 17 MLAs each, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party one each and there are five independents. One seat, Pehowa, remains vacant after the recent death of opposition legislator Jaswinder Singh Sandhu.
The counting process was halted briefly during the seventh round when polling agents from of the LSP and the JJP alleged that there was a mismatch in serial numbers of two EVMs.
Police wielded canes to disperse workers from the two opposition parties after they created a ruckus outside the counting centre.
Jind Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Amit Khatri rejected the allegation over the EVMs, saying there had been a clerical issue.
Twenty-one candidates, including two women, had contested the January 28 bypoll, dubbed a prestige battle for the main parties ahead of the parliamentary and assembly polls.
The election recorded a turnout of 75.77 per cent.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 8:36 PM IST

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