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Kuldeep Bishnoi wins Hisar bypoll

Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC)-BJP nominee Kuldeep Bishnoi today won the prestigious Hisar Lok Sabha by-election in Haryana in a closely-fought battle in which Team Anna sought a crushing defeat for the Congress that was pushed to a far third position.

Bishnoi (42), son of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal whose death caused the bypoll, retained the seat for the party defeating his nearest rival INLD's Ajay Singh Chautala (50), son of former Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, by a margin of 6,323 votes, out of the over nine lakh votes polled.

Ruling Congress nominee and three-time MP from Hisar Jai Prakash (58), a former Union Minister, finished third. He had won the seat last in 2004 as Congress nominee.

Bishnoi, whose Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) tied up with BJP, secured 3,55,941 votes followed by Chautala with 3,49,618 votes and way behind was Jai Parkash, who polled 1,49,785 votes. It was essentially a triangular contest in a field with 40 candidates and a total electorate of 13.32 lakh.

With the jury still out on whether Anna Hazare and his team's anti-Congress campaign helped him, Bishnoi claimed it had no impact on his performance while the Congress said Hisar was always a bastion of some groups in the state and it put up a good fight.

Leading Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who hails from Hisar and held an intensive campaign against Congress in the constituency, said "it is a referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill. The Congress should take a lesson and now pass the Jan Lokpal Bill." He said Team Anna had nothing to do with the victory of Bishnoi.

While Hazare sought defeat for the Congress through a video appeal, Kejriwal was helped in the campaign by other key members of Team Anna, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia. PTI
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House panel likely to clear Lokayuktas in all states

New Delhi: The standing committee of Parliament on law and justice is likely to recommend exclusion of lower bureaucracy from the purview of the proposed Lokpal and facilitate setting up of powerful Lokayuktas in all states.

While the panel is likely to endorse the government's Bill on the basic structure of the Lokpal, including exclusion of lower bureaucracy, higher judiciary, citizen's charter and allowing PM with certain safeguards, it may also recommend that the Supreme Court judgment in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha case be reviewed, allowing for stronger control of conduct of MPs. Anna Hazarehad demanded that conduct of MPs inside Parliament be brought within the Lokpal but the panel is not likely to accept it. 

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