November 12, 2020 3:48:22 am
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Wednesday hinted that Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt could have won the bypoll to Baroda Assembly constituency had he got all the votes of ruling coalition partner Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). “Had we got all, we would have secured nearly 75,000 to 80,000 votes,” Khattar said in reply to specific query while talking to reporters at the sidelines of an official meeting here.
At the same time, he said, when a party gets a particular number of votes fighting separately in an election, it never happens that all those votes get transferred to another party in an alliance. “Last time we got 37,000 votes (from Baroda), this time we crossed 50,000, which means we got some votes from others (the JJP),” he said.
Yogeshwar, the joint candidate of the ruling BJP-JJP alliance, failed to wrest the Baroda seat from the opposition Congress. Congress’ Indu Raj Narwal defeated Yogeshwar by a margin of 10,566 votes.
This was the second time Yogeshwar tasted defeat from Baroda. He had lost the 2019 Assembly polls by about 4,800 votes to Congress candidate Sri Krishan Hooda, who won the seat thrice in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Hooda’s demise in April had necessitated the bypoll.
Talking to reporters in Sirsa, Deputy Chief Minister and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala congratulated Narwal on his poll victory, but said Dutt fought well.
“The workers of both parties (BJP, JJP) worked hard, which helped Dutt get more than 50,000 votes. We were hoping to get more than 60,000 votes. We will work harder the next time,” he said.
When a reporter pointed out that many were saying all the JJP votes did not get transferred to the BJP, he said, “Whose votes got transferred, you know it all. If the alliance candidate got more than 50,000 votes, it is because of the hard work of the workers of the two parties.”
As per the bypoll results declared Tuesday, Narwal polled 60,636 votes while Dutt secured 50,070.
Khattar pointed out that this was the first time the BJP got more than 50,000 votes in Baroda and said “we have won even in defeat”. “Despite winning, the Congress got 6,000 votes less than what they had got the last time. They (Congress) may have won the seat for the fourth time in a row, but we have also increased our vote share in the constituency,” he added.
Khattar also claimed that in spite of the “hue and cry” raised by the Opposition over the Centre’s new farm laws, the issue did not have any adverse impact on the prospects of Yogeshwar in the bypoll.
“There was no impact,” he said replying to a media query.
To counter the opposition criticism of the farm laws, Khattar had even announced that he would quit politics if the minimum support price (MSP) system was dismantled, while accusing the Congress of “misleading” farmers over the issue.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Sirsa, INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala took a swipe at the ruling alliance, saying, “You should ask them how those 20,000 votes vanished. Why could they not get more than 70,000 votes”.
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