The results of assembly election in Rajasthan’s Ramgarh and bypoll in Haryana’s Jind are likely to be read as important indicators ahead of the national election, due by May.
The Congress candidate in Ramgarh, Saafiya Zubair, is leading by a huge margin of 60,283 votes in Ramgarh and the BJP has accepted defeat on this seat. BJP candidate Krishan Middha is leading by 15,481 votes in the Jind bypoll.
The stakes are high for both the ruling BJP, Congress in these polls, though other state players like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Rajasthan and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana are also in the contest.
If the Congress wins the Rajasthan seat, its tally in the state will go up to 100 in the 200-member assembly, reducing its dependence on smaller parties.
As many as 20 candidates contested the Ramgarh election, which could not be held along with other constituencies due to the death of the BSP candidate Laxman Singh before the December 7 state polls.
The BSP has fielded former union minister and former Congress leader Natwar Singh’s son Jagat Singh, a former lawmaker. Jagat Singh quit the BJP over not being allowed to contest the seat.
The BJP fielded a virtually unknown Sukhwant Singh in Ramgarh, where the Congress candidate is leading by a huge margin.