While the Congress retained Sahara and Sujangarh seats, the BJP retained Rajsamand seat. On two of these seats, the incumbent MLAs had died due to Covid-19 while the third MLA had died while undergoing treatment following a stroke.
In October last year, Congress MLA from Sahara, Kailash Chandra Trivedi, had died of post-Covid complications and the party fielded his wife Gayatri Trivedi for the bypoll.
In November, Sujangarh MLA and Cabinet minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, Bhanwarlal Meghwal, had passed away while undergoing treatment following a paralytic stroke in May. His son, Manoj Kumar, was fielded by the Congress for the bypolls.
Also in November, BJP MLA Kiran Maheshwari had died of Covid-19. She was considered close to former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and was a minister during her tenure. The BJP gave a ticket to her daughter Deepti Kiran Maheswari from the seat.
By Sunday evening, Trivedi’s margin against BJP’s Ratan Lal Jat Sahara stood at 42,200 votes while Kumar had a margin of 35,611 votes against BJP’s Khemaram in Sujangarh. Interestingly, Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) performed well in Sujangarh with its Sitaram Nayak winning 32,210 votes, or about 20 per cent of all votes.
In Rajsamand, Deepti Maheshwari’s margin against Tansukh Bohara of Congress stood at 5,310.
When compared to the 2018 Assembly elections, Congress managed to increase its vote share in all three constituencies. In Sahara, it increased from 38.11 per cent to 58.21 per cent; in Sujangarh, it increased from 46.26 per cent to 49.3 per cent and in Rajsamand, it increased from 40.54 per cent to 46.21 per cent. BJP could increase its vote share only in Sujangarh, where it went up from 24.83 to 27.15 per cent.
Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra said that Congress increasing its vote share is indicative of good governance and party’s popularity in the eyes of the people.
CM Gehlot extended wishes to all the three winning candidates. On Rajsamand, he said that it “was also fought unitedly and the BJP’s margin of victory here has been quite normal.” He also thanked the voters for “blessing” and supporting the Congress party.
For Gehlot, besieged by a rebellion and court cases last year and attacks by Centre, including an FIR against his Officer on Special Duty, the two wins come as a necessary breather.
BJP state president Satish Poonia said that the party workers worked hard in adverse circumstances and were able to retain the Rajasamand seat and did not allow Congress a win. He said that the party will review the losses on two other seats.
In 2018, Congress had cornered 46.26 per cent of the vote share in Sujangarh with 83,632 votes, which was 38,749 votes more than the votes polled for BJP’s Khemaram. In Sahara, with 65,420 or 38.11 per cent of all votes, Congress’ Kailash Chandra Trivedi had defeated BJP’s Roop Lal Jat by 7,006 votes in 2018. Similarly in Rajsamand, with 89,025 votes, BJP’s Kiran Maheshwari had defeated Congress’ Narayan Singh Bhati by 24,623 votes.