Congress on Wednesday retained its Mungaoli seat in Madhya Pradesh, leading by 2,124 votes against the Bharatiya Janata Party. Counting of votes for the Assembly seats in Mungaoli and Kolaras in Madhya Pradesh and Bijepur in Odisha began on Wednesday morning.

Congress candidate Brajendra Singh Yadav won 70,808 votes in Mungaoli, while BJP’s Bai Sahab Yadav secured 68,685 votes. The Congress also won bye-elections in Kolaras, with its candidate Mahendra Singh Yadav securing 81,822 votes, against BJP’s Devendra Jain’s 73,248 votes.

The bye-polls for the Mungaoli and Kolaras seats were held on February 24. Both the seats in Madhya Pradesh recorded a high voter turnout – 77.05% in Mungaoli and 70.40% in Kolaras. The bye-elections were necessitated by the deaths of Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda from Mungaoli and Ram Singh Yadav from Kolaras.

Mungaoli and Kolaras are part of Madhya Pradesh Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia’s Guna constituency. In the run up to the bye-elections, Scindia had addressed more than 75 rallies and participated in 15 road shows. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also held 40 rallies and 10 road shows. Assembly elections in the state are scheduled later this year. The ruling BJP has been in power in the state since 2008.

“It is the victory of truth and development,” Scindia told ANI after the party’s win. “The people of Madhya Pradesh have decided to vote out the BJP. The government which had not worried about Mungaoli for 14 years had camped there with its entire cabinet during the bye-elections.”

Odisha Bye-polls

The Biju Janata Dal candidate won the Bijepur Assembly seat by a margin of 41,933 votes. This is the first time in 15 years that the BJD has won this seat, according to the Hindustan Times.

The Bijepur bye-poll was necessitated after Congress MLA Subal Sahu died in August 2017. The BJD fielded his wife Rita Sahu for the bye-election. She won 102,871 votes. BJP nominee Ashok Panigrahi bagged 60,938 votes while Congress candidate Pranay Sahu won 10,271. An estimated 72% voters had turned up for the bye-polls.