Moga (Punjab): The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Joginerpal Jain on Thursday wrested the Moga Assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival by 18,845 votes.
Jain, who had recently joined SAD after defecting from Congress, registered his third successive win by defeating Congress` Vijay Kumar Sathi.
"While Jain got 69,265 votes, Sathi managed 50,420 votes. Sanjah Morcha`s candidate Ravinder Singh Dhaliwal could manage only 7,401 votes," an election office spokesman said here.
The by-poll, whose result was declared here today, was held on February 23 and 72.61 percent of total 1,79,448 electorates had exercised their franchise.
The by-poll was necessitated after Jain deserted the Congress to join the SAD. There were total 10 candidates in the fray.
In the 117-member Punjab Assembly, now the SAD tally has touched 57, its ally BJP has 12 members, Congress 45 and there are three independents.
The SAD is now one short of simple majority (58 members) in the Assembly. However, two independents are attached to it.
The result is a big victory for SAD president and Punjab deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal under whose leadership the SAD again returned to power in Punjab in January polls.
Later, under Sukhbir`s command, the party had swept the Municipal Corporation polls in the state and also drubbed the Congress backed PS Sarna in the Delhi Gurudwara Management Committee (DGMC) polls by a comfortable margin.
The result is a setback for the Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh who has got back to back defeats from the ruling party.