Congress sweeps Rajasthan, routs BJP (Night Lead)May 17th, 2009 - 12:24 am ICT by IANS
Jaipur, May 16 (IANS) The Congress swept Rajasthan Saturday, winning 19 of the state’s 25 Lok Sabha seats and routing the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress was leading in one more constituency in the evening as was stopped when an EVM developed a snag. The BJP could manage only four seats in the state.
In the 2004 elections, the Congress had won only four seats as the then ruling BJP had won 21 seats.
Kirori Lal Meena, an independent, was ahead of his rival - another independent - Qummer Rubbani Chechi, a Gujjar from Jammu and Kashmir, in Dausa (reserved) constituency.
The Congress’ Sachin Pilot was elected from Ajmer, where he defeated the BJP’s Kiran Maheshwari by over 76,000 votes. In Bhilwara, C.P. Joshi, the state Congress president, was elected, defeating his nearest rival, sitting MP V.P. Singh of the BJP, by over 135,000 votes.
The winning Congress candidates included Girija Vyas who was elected from Chittorgarh, defeating her nearest rival - sitting MP Srichand Kriplani of the BJP - by over 72,000 votes.
Seesh Ram Ola, a minister in the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was elected from Jhunjhunu, where he defeated his nearest BJP rival Dasrath Singh Shekhawat by a margin of over 65,000 votes.
The Election Commission did not declare the results of the Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency as one of the EVMs developed a snag. Namonarain Meena, a union minister, is in a tough fight with BJP’s K.S. Bainsla, a Gujjar community leader.
Meena was leading Bainsla by over 470 votes when the counting was stopped as the last of the EVMs to be counted developed a snag. Sources said that there are over 620 votes in the machine.
In a major shock for the BJP, Manvendra Singh, son of former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh, lost to Harsh Chaudhary of the Congress by over 110,000 votes in Barmer.
But in Jhalawar-Baran constituency, BJP candidate Dushyant Singh, son of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, won by over 54,000 votes.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, while thanking the voters, said: “They have voted for policies of the Manmohan Singh government at the centre.”
Addressing a press conference here, Gehlot looked visibly happy with the party’s performance in the state and said that it was a victory of the people.
“In Rajasthan, the people were fed up of the previous Vasundhara Raje government of the BJP. The people have taught a lesson to them (BJP) in the assembly polls (2008) and now again they have given them a final lesson,” Gehlot said.
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje said it was time for the BJP to “introspect” and examine what went wrong.
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Tags: chittorgarh, congress candidates, congress president, evm, external affairs minister, girija, gujjar, jammu and kashmir, jhunjhunu, lok sabha seats, manmohan singh, meena, minister jaswant singh, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, sachin pilot, shekhawat, state congress, v p singh, vyas