Congress Did Better Than Expected in Jhabua Bypoll: Nath

Bhopal, Oct 24 (PTI) With the Congress wresting the Jhabua assembly seat from the BJP in bypoll, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday said the main opposition party was "fast losing ground" in the country.

Congress candidate and former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria (68) won from Jhabua, defeating his nearest rival, BJP's Bhanu Bhuria (36), by a margin of over 27,804 votes.

With this, the Congress wrested the seat, reserved for tribals, and also improved its tally in the 230-member assembly. The bypoll was held on October 21 and votes were counted on Thursday.

Nath said the Congress had done better than expected in Jhabua, where the bypoll was necessitated following the resignation of sitting BJP MLA G S Damor after he won the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat in May.

"The Lok Sabha elections were held some months ago. But todays result clearly manifests that the people were unhappy with the BJP which is fast losing ground in the country," an elated Nath told reporters here.

We did not expect such a result (in Congress's favour). The BJP's game-plan to divert attention from (key issues) stands bared with the election results in Jhabua, Maharashtra and Haryana (states where the Congress has improved its tally)," the former Union Minister added.

"The saffron party had won general elections with a huge margin in Maharashtra and Haryana (in April-May 2019). Today its (the BJP's) showing is not good as the Congress has done well, the Congress leader said.

People have started realising their mistake (for voting for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections) and todays result stands testimony to that, the chief minister added.

Unemployment among youth and the economic slowdown are among big challenges before the country. But people's attention was being diverted by raking up issues of nationalism and scrapping of Article 370 (which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir) and Pakistan, he added.

Nath said the BJP-led NDA government is not talking about issues affecting common people.

"The Modi government is not talking about youth's future, farmers or businessmen. It is not concerned about development," Nath added.

He said the Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh is doing better on economic front.

"The country is witnessing an economic slowdown but Madhya Pradesh is not. Peoples faith in the central government is fast waning, but in Madhya Pradesh, the case is vice-versa because people are happy with us, Nath said. PTI

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