New Delhi: Wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Phogat failed to turn the Bharatiya Janta Party’s fortunes in the tough seats of Baroda and Dadri in Haryana. While Phogat lost the Dadri seat to independent candidate Somvir Sangwan, Dutt was defeated in Baroda by Congress’ sitting MLA Sri Kishen Hooda, who had won the seat in 2014 despite a stellar performance by the BJP.
Dutt, a 2012 Olympics bronze medalist, lost the Baroda seat by a margin of nearly 5,000 votes. Baroda came as a big challenge for the wrestler as the party has never won the seat-- which has been represented either by the Congress or the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the past. In the 2014 assembly elections, the BJP candidate finished third and even lost his security deposit.
In the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, Sri Krishan of INC won in this seat by defeating the INLD candidate by a margin of 5183 votes which was 4.3% of the total votes polled in the constituency. INC had a vote share of 41.93% in 2014 in the seat.
Dutt had joined the BJP in September, saying he was impressed by the works of PM Narendra Modi and the BJP was the only political party which he could think of as the party’s ideology of nationalism was similar to his way of thinking.
Phogat, too, banked heavily on the ‘Modi factor’ in the Jat-dominated constituency of Dadri. The 29-year-old was up against political bigwigs Nripendera Sangwan of the Congress and Somveer Sangwan, a former BJP candidate who contested as an independent.
The BJP, which has never won in the Jat-dominated area, was banking on the star power of Phogat, who, along with sister Geeta, inspired the blockbuster, Dangal.