New Delhi: Even as it capitalised on BJP and INLD’s losses, the Congress, and more importantly Bhupinder Singh Hooda, nearly swept the Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar — considered to be the traditional strongholds of the Hooda family and the grand old party.
Of the 15 seats spread across the region, the Congress went home with 11, followed by the BJP at three. One assembly seat, Meham, was won by an Independent.
Among these seats, while former Haryana chief minister Hooda himself won the Garhi-Sample Kiloi constituency, the Congress as whole secured Kharkhoda, Sonipat, Gohana, Baroda, Rohtak, Kalanaur, Bahadurgarh, Badli, Jhajjar and Beri assembly seats. On the other hand, the BJP got Ganaur, Rai and Kosli constituencies.
In 2014, the Congress had won 10 of these 15 seats, while the BJP had managed to secure the remaining five. Similarly, the Congress had registered victories in 14 of these seats in 2009, the year the grand old party returned to power for another five-year term.
Interestingly, of the 11 seats won by the Congress, seven were also won by the grand old party in 2014 as well as 2009, three are those which the party won in 2009, but lost them to the BJP in 2014. Three are those which it had won in 2009 and 2014, but lost this time.
Among major contests, Surender Panwar and Kuldeep Vats of the Congress beat cabinet ministers Kavita Jain and Omprakash Dhankhar in Sonipat and Badli, respectively.
At the time of publishing this report, while the BJP had won 35 seats and was leading in four others, the Congress had secured 30 seats and was ahead in two others. Dushyant Chautala’s Jananayak Janata Party came third with 10 assembly seats whereas the INLD settled with one.
Meanwhile, in his first press statement on Thursday, Bhupinder Singh Hooda appealed to all non-BJP parties and Independents to come together and stake claim to form the government.
"I appeal to all parties and Independents, including the JJP, to come together to form the government. Being the chairperson of the election management committee, I assure all of you that you will be treated with dignity and find respectable space in our government,” Hooda said.