Haryana,25 May:The ruling Congress in Haryana retained two assembly seats as the newly-floated Haryana Janhit Congress opened its account in the Vidhan Sabha with former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal winning the Adampur seat for a record 10th time.
Septuagenarian Lal, expelled from the Congress after he joined the Haryana Janhit Congress floated by his son Kuldeep Bishnoi last December, trounced his nearest Congress rival Ranjit Singh by a margin of over 26,188 votes.
Lal had romped home from Adampur constituency for the first time in 1968 when mid-term elections were held in the state.
Except in 1987 when his wife Jasma Devi won the seat after he moved over to the Centre, the 78-year-old former Congress veteran had emerged triumphant from the seat ten times.
In two other assembly by-elections in the state, the Congress retained both Indri and Gohana seats.The by-polls arose after the disqualification of three Congress members Bhajan Lal, Rakesh Kamboj and Dharampal Malik from the state assembly for joining the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL).
Both Kamboj and Malik, who tried their luck from Indri and Gohana seats respectively in the by-elections, bit the dust.In 2005, Bhajan Lal had fought on the Congress ticket and won the Adampur seat by a margin of 71,081 votes.
This time, he polled 56,841 votes against Ranjit Singh’s 30,653 and INLD Sampat Singh’s 20,136. BJP hopeful Raghavanand and 37 others lost their security deposits.
With Lal’s victory though with a reduced margin, the Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) opened its account in the 90-member assembly.
Kuldeep Bishnoi, who floated the Haryana Janhit Congress, is the younger son of Bhajan Lal whose elder son Chander Mohan is the Deputy Chief Minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.
The ruling Congress posted victory in the Indri assembly by-election when its candidate Bhim Sen Mehta defeated Rakesh Kamboj by a margin of 5,865 votes.
INLD nominee Ashok Kashyap finished third securing 27,900 votes in a multi-cornered contest.
Kamboj had won the seat on the Congress ticket in the 2005 assembly election.
Mehta had contested as an Independent last time and lost to Kamboj by a margin of 19,578 votes.