Sunday, May 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

INLD retains Fatehabad seat
Our Correspondent

Fatehabad, May 24
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) today won the Fatehabad Assembly byelection retaining the seat which fell vacant after the death of its MLA, Mr Leela Krishan. The party’s nominee Ms Swatantra Bala Chowdhary defeated her nearest rival Mr Dura Ram of the Congress by 7672 votes. Ms Chowdhary polled 45597 votes against 37925 polled by the Congress nominee Mr Dura Ram. The Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) nominee, Mr Prahlad Singh Gillankhera received 22280 votes while the CPM candidate, Mr Krishan Swaroop polled 5416 votes.

Ms Chowdhary remained ahead of her Congress rival Dura Ram right from the first round when she took a lead of 1817 votes in the round comprising first 10 polling booths. She maintained the lead in the second and third round, when she had lead of 734 and 1506 votes respectively. The Congress candidate faired better in the fourth round, when he had a lead of 374 votes in that round. But the INLD candidate again started leading with the fifth round and maintained the winning streak till the 11th round. Mr Dura Ram faired marginally better in the 12th round and got 192 votes more than his INLD rival. The Congress candidate then got 1105, 152, 4262 and 442 more votes than his INLD rival in 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th rounds respectively, but this was not enough to cover the winning lead of Ms Chowdhary. The INLD nominee also had led 13th, 18th, 19th rounds by scoring 76, 1475 and 322 votes more than her Congress rival.

The Election Department had sent 128 postal votes to Army personnel of the constituency. It received only two postal votes and both went in favour of the INLD candidate.

Ms Chowdhary described her win as victory of the people of this constituency and INLD workers. She thanked the people for reposing faith in her.

Mr Abhey Singh, a son of Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who managed the campaign in this by-election, said that the victory in this bypoll vindicated the programmes and policies of the government. He said that the results were on expected lines.

The Congress candidate, Mr Dura Ram, however, said that the result had shown that the state government enjoyed no more the confidence of the people. He said that despite using the whole of the might of government and misusing official machinery, the INLD had been able to manage victory by a thin margin. He said that the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, and other leaders of the INLD had been claiming to win the election by record margin, but the results had shown that had this not been a by-election, the Congress would have won the election by handsome margin.

The counting of votes began at 8 a.m. amidst tight security in the local Senior Model Secondary School. The administration had sealed the counting venue from all sides. The media persons, who had been issued permits to visit the counting hall by the Chief Electoral Officer, Haryana, were refused entry to the school premises. When they pleaded with the security personnel on duty, they were told that the Returning Officer had withheld the permission.

It was after a lot of pleading that they were permitted to go inside the school building but were refused entry into the counting hall. The media persons were packed in a room and told that they would be supplied with the data there. They were taken inside the hall for a few moments but made to leave it after sometime.

UNI adds: The victory of Mrs Chaudhary was shot in the arm for Mr Chautala, who performed hat trick since February 2000 Assembly elections.

In two earlier by-elections, the INLD had retained the vacated Rori seat while wrested Yamunanagar from the Congress.

With Mrs Chaudhary’s win, the Haryana Vidhan Sabha will now have five women MLAs, two each of the INLD and the BJP and lone of the Congress.

The strength of the INLD, including Speaker Satbir Singh Kadian, in the 90-member Vidhan Sabha, again rose to 48. The remaining 42 seats are shared by the Congress (20), the BJP (six), the HVP (two), the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Republican Party of India (one each) and Independents (11).

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |