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UP bypoll Results 2022: RLD’s Madan Bhaiya wrests Khatauli Assembly seat from BJP

Madan Bhaiya took an early lead in the counting and was ahead with a margin of around 3,000 votes after 10 rounds

UP bypoll Results 2022: RLD’s Madan Bhaiya wrests Khatauli Assembly seat from BJP

Muzaffarnagar: Samajwadi Party ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) on Thursday won the Khatauli bypoll in Uttar Pradesh, with its candidate Madan Bhaiya defeating his BJP rival Rajkumari Saini by a margin of over 22,000 votes. Rajkumari Saini is the wife of former BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini whose disqualification from the state assembly following his conviction in a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case necessitated the bypoll. According to the Election Commission, Madan Bhaiya polled 97,071 votes while Rajkumari Saini got 74,996 votes. Thanking the people of Khatauli for its victory, the RLD said, "This historic win of alliance candidate Madan Bhaiya is the victory of the hard-working workers of Rashtriya Lok Dal, Samajwadi Party and Azad Samaj Party."

Madan Bhaiya took an early lead in the counting and was ahead with a margin of around 3,000 votes after 10 rounds. The margin continued to expand as the counting progressed. Khatauli which has 3.16 lakh voters, is a known BJP bastion. In the eight assembly elections since 1991, BJP candidates won in 1991, 1993, 2017 and 2022. RLD won the seat in 2002 and 2012. The BJP had swept all six constituencies in Muzaffarnagar in the 2017 assembly polls. It lost four Assembly segments in 2022 because of the unpopularity among Jat voters in wake of the farmers' protest.

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It however managed to secure a victory in Muzaffarnagar and Khatauli seats. In Khatauli, Vikram Singh Saini had managed to save his seat by a margin of over 16,000 votes. During the campaigning in the run-up to by-polls, BJP deployed many of its senior leaders, including Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, both deputy chief ministers and Social Welfare Minister Asim Arun to canvass for the party candidates.

Along with the development poll plank, BJP leaders have been raking up the 2013 communal riots in the district in which 62 people were killed and nearly 40,000 displaced. Addressing an election rally, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had claimed that Saini, who has been convicted in the hate speech case, lost his Assembly membership not for any family issue, but for the dignity of Muzaffarnagar. "It was a politically-motivated and fabricated case," the chief minister had said. Adityanath also made a blistering attack on the rivals over the alleged poor law and order during the Samajwadi Party rule in Uttar Pradesh. "They want our daughters and sisters to not venture out on roads. They want Taliban-like rule," he had alleged.

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