Punjab by-poll: SAD wrests Moga seat from Congress
Moga: The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Joginderpal Singh today wrested the Moga Assembly seat defeating his nearest Congress rival by 18,849 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 69,269 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.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described the victory of the SAD-BJP alliance as a "forceful mandate for the agenda of peace, development and communal harmony, and a victory of clean politics over negative tactics."
However, state Congress chief Amarinder Singh alleged that the verdict was "manipulated and manufactured" by the Akalis by "blatant abuse of money, muscle, police and official power".
The by-election, whose result was declared here on Thursday, was held on February 23 and 72.61 per cent of total 1,79,448 electorates had exercised their franchise.
The bypoll was necessitated after Jain deserted the Congress to join the SAD. There were total ten 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 P S Sarna in the Delhi Gurudwara Management Committee (DGMC) polls by a comfortable margin.
The result is a setback for Amarinder who has got back to back defeats from the ruling party.