Congress wins Chitrakoot bypoll

Congress candidate Nilanshu Chaturvedi secured 66,810 votes as against BJP nominee Shankar Dayal Tripathi's 52,677 in a contest necessitated by the death of sitting Congress MLA Prem Singh, 65, in May this year.

BJP's Nand Kumar said that though the saffron party lost in the by-poll, it merely denotes the mood of the Madhya Pradesh public.

The BJP leadership in MP may not openly accept it but after the results even die hard BJP fans are also silently acknowledging the winds of change that appear to be blowing across the state.

The Congress on Sunday was once again able to wrest the Chitrakoot Assembly seat by a significant margin of around 14,000 votes from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed his party's victory in the bypoll an indication of change, and thanked the people for their faith in the party.

The by-election in Chitrakoot was a crucial one for both BJP and Congress before assembly election which is slated for November 2018.

Chitrakoot has been known as mostly a Congress bastion.

It seems Chouhan and the BJP tried every trick in the bag to win Chitrakoot. Singh had won the assembly constituency, bordering Uttar Pradesh, in the 1998, 2003 and 2013 elections. "The BJP candidate has been defeated from his own village as well as the village of his in-laws". Besides, it also suggested that Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Ajay Singh is an established leader in the Vindhya region.

However, notably, Shivraj Singh Chouhan made seven visits to Chitrakoot in the run up to the elections and addressed more than 60 big and small rallies.

Vanessa Coleman