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Congress wrests back Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh from BJP in by-election, its tally goes up to 45 in Lok Sabha

File photo of Congress supporters in an election rally.

File photo of Congress supporters in an election rally.

Ratlam had been a Congress bastion till 2014 when it was swept away in the Narendra Modi wave with BJP's Dilip Singh Bhuria defeating Kantilal Bhuria, a former union minister.

The tribal dominated Ratlam Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh has given reasons to the Congress to cheer with the party winning back the seat from the Bharatiya Janata Party in a by-election. With Congress candidate Kantilal Bhuria defeating BJP MLA Nirmala Bhuria by a margin of over 88,000 votes, the Grand Old Party's tally in the Lok Sabha has gone up from 44 to 45.

Ratlam had been a Congress bastion till 2014 when it was swept away in the Narendra Modi wave with BJP's Dilip Singh Bhuria defeating Kantilal Bhuria, a former union minister.

It was the first time that BJP had won the Ratlam Lok Sabha seat. The by-elections was necessitated after Dilip Singh Bhuria's death earlier in 2015.

BJP had fielded Dilip Singh Bhuria's daughter Nirmala while Congress had nominated Kantila Bhuria again from the seat.

It is a personal setback for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan who had addressed nearly two dozen elections meeting in Ratlam in the run up to the polls. Several BJP ministers had camped in Ratlam during the by-elections.

Over 59% polling was registered in Ratlam during the voting November 21. There were a total of eight candidates including Kantilal Bhuria, Nirmala Bhuria and Janata Dal (United) nominee Vijay Hari.

BJP had won all but two out of 29 Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The two seat which Congress managed to win in 2014 were Guna from when Jyotiraditya Scindia was victorious and Chhindwara which saw Kamal Nath taking the top spot.

first published:November 24, 2015, 14:21 IST