No surprise in MP by-poll results; 1-1 for Cong-BJP
The BJP on Thursday won the Bandhavgarh Assembly seat, while the Congress emerged victorious at Ater in Madhya Pradesh, though with a reduced margin.
With this, the ruling and opposition parties have retained the respective Assembly seats where by-polls were held on April 9.
BJP candidate Shivnarayan Singh defeated his nearest rival, Savitri Singh of the Congress, at Bandhavgarh (ST) in Umaria district by 25,476 votes. Shivnaryan polled 74,356 votes, while Savitri bagged 48,880.
At Ater in Bhind district, Congress' Hemant Katare defeated BJP's Arvind Singh Bhadoria by a narrow margin of 857 votes. Hemant secured 59,228 votes, while Bhadoria got 58,371.
The by-election in Ater was necessitated due to the death of Hemant's father Satyadev Katare, the then Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, in October 2016.
The Congress, while fielding Hemant, had counted on the sympathy votes, but the BJP put up a spirited fight and did not allow the opposition party to secure an easy win.
In the 2013 Assembly election, Congress' Satyadev had won the seat with a margin of 11,426 votes.
Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said the hard work of the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia paid off at Ater. The 46-year-old MP from Guna commands a strong influence in the region.
At Bandhavgarh, the by-election was necessitated due to the resignation of sitting BJP MLA Gyan Singh, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in November last from Shahdol in a by-poll.
In 2013, the BJP had won the tribal-dominated seat by a margin of 18,654 votes. This time around, the saffron party significantly improved its victory margin.