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Congress wins Khairagarh assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh

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Rajnandgaon, Apr 16: The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh on Saturday won byelection to the Khairagarh assembly constituency in Rajnandgaon district and maintained its winning streak in bypolls in the state.

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Congress' Yashoda Verma won by a margin of 20,176 votes against her nearest rival Komal Janghel of the BJP, a poll official said here.

Verma got 87,879 votes while Janghel secured 67,703 votes, he said.

Narendra Soni, the nominee of the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J), could get only 1,222 votes.

Byelection was held on April 12 following the death of incumbent JCC (J) MLA and former MP Devvrat Singh in November 2021.

With the victory, the strength of Congress in the 90-member Assembly went up to 71. The opposition BJP suffered a fourth successive defeat at the hands of Congress in assembly bypolls held after the 2018 elections in the state.

Devvrat Singh, who belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Khairagarh, quit Congress in 2017 and joined JCC (J) the next year. He contested the 2018 assembly polls on JCC(J) ticket and defeated BJP candidate Komal Janghel by a thin margin of 870 votes.

In 2018, Congress swept the elections winning 68 out of 90 seats while the BJP won 15. The JCC (J) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) contested the poll in alliance and bagged five and two seats, respectively.

In 2019, Congress won bypolls to Dantewada (won by the BJP in 2018) and Chitrakot assembly constituencies. The byelection to Chitrakot was necessitated after Congress MLA Dipak Baij was elected as MP.

In 2020, Congress won Marwahi seat in the byelection after the death of former chief minister and sitting MLA Ajit Jogi.

The current strength of the BJP in the state assembly is 14. JCC(J)'s tally is reduced to three.

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