In a significant blow to Narendra Modi, the Congress party on Tuesday wrested crucial Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat from the BJP, 18 months after the latter had won here by over one lakh vote.
Congress’ Kantilal Bhuria defeated his BJP rival by close to one lakh vote thereby delivering a severe blow to the so-called Modi wave, which critics say had come to an end following Bihar results.
Although, Congress suffered defeats in assembly by-polls in Manipur and on one seat in Madhya Pradesh, Ratlam’s victory has sent shock waves in the BJP camp.
Congress said that Ratlam’s victory had conclusively proven that its splendid showing in Bihar where it won 27 out 40 seats it contested, was no aberration. Speaking to jantakareporter.com, the party spokesperson and former MP Sanjay Nirupam said,”Our performance in Bihar was attributed to the success of the JDU-RJD combined. The BJP had said that we won those many seats because of our alliance partners. Now we have really showed that there is a resurgence of sorts for the congress party. And the ‘Modi wave’ is well and truly over”
A jubilant Bhuria told reporters, “Narendra Modi had lied to voters here on development. Now I will expose his lies in parliament. This is the beginning of the end for BJP and Modi.”
The byelection was necessitated by the death of BJP MP Dileep Singh Bhuria on June 24. The BJP has fielded his daughter Nirmala, the MLA from Petlawad, to take on Kantilal Bhuria, a former state Congress chief. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressed several rallies in Jhabua, Ratlam and Alirajpur districts from which the Ratlam (ST) seat has been carved.
At 62.29 per cent, the voter turnout was nearly two percentage points less than that in the 2014 general elections, in which the BJP swept 27 out of the 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh.