The ruling Congress won the Marwahi Assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, an election official said. Bypoll was necessitated for this seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), by the death of its MLA and Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) founder Ajit Jogi on May 29.
Congress candidate Dr K K Dhruw won the bypoll to the constituency, located in Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi (GPM) district, by 38,197 votes. He defeated the BJP's Dr Gambheer Singh. Dhruw polled 83,561 votes while Singh secured 45,364 votes, the official said.
Voting had been held on November 3 and the turnout was 77.89 per cent. It was for the first time since Ajit Jogi won the Marwahi seat in 2001 that no member of his family was in the fray, as the election authority rejected the nomination papers of his son, JCC (J) president Amit Jogi, and Amit's wife Richa Jogi for invalid caste certificates.
With this victory, the tally of the Congress in the 90-member assembly has gone up to 70. The BJP has suffered a third consecutive defeat in assembly bypolls held after the 2018 assembly elections.
Last year, the Congress had won bypolls in Dantewada and Chitrakot seats. The strength of the BJP in the state assembly is 14 while JCC(J) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have four and two MLAs, respectively.
In the 2018 Assembly polls, Ajit Jogi, a former chief minister, had polled 74,041 votes in Marwahi, beating the BJP's Archana Porte by 46,462 votes, with the Congress coming in third.