Hisar: Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress (Bhajan Lal) won the Hisar Lok Sabha by-elections defeating his nearest rival Ajay Singh Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal by 6323 votes. Bishnoi was also supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Congress candidate Jai Prakash was a distant third despite his party being in power in the state. Jai Prakash (58) is a former Union minister and three-time MP from Hisar. He had won the seat in 2004 Lok Sabha elections as Congress nominee.
Kuldeep Bishnoi (42) got 3,55,941 votes, Ajay Chautala (50) was second with 3,49,618 while Jai Prakash could manage only 1,49,785 votes.
Even though the main battle was between Bishnoi and Chautala; Anna Hazare call to not vote in favour of the Congress candidate had given the by-election an interesting twist.
Bishnoi, however, declined to credit Team Anna for his win and instead said that Anna Hazare should have targeted all corrupt parties and not just the Congress.
He claimed that Team Anna's anti-Congress campaign did not help him while the Congress merely said that the party will study the result to find out the cause of the defeat.
"Whenever the party loses in any elections, the party has to study the reasons for the failure," said senior Congress leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The contest was essentially a triangular one even though there were 40 candidates fighting for 13.32 lakh votes.
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who hails from Hisar and led the anti-Congress campaign in the constituency called it a referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill
"Hisar result is an indication for the Congress party. It is a clear referendum in favour of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Taking the clues, Congress should get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed (in Parliament)," said Kejriwal.
Following Team Anna's anti-Congress campaign the seat had become a prestige issue for the party even though during the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections, too, the party had finished third.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj thanked the voters of Hisar, for supporting the BJP-HJC alliance and electing Bishnoi.
"The BJP-HJC alliance will continue in future also," she said. Echoing her words, Bishnoi said, "People have voted for the alliance and alliance will go a long way."
BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the result clearly showed that tyhe people have voted against the Congress policies in tackling corruption. "This is a victory for democracy," he said.
Bishnoi's father and former Congress leader Bhajan Lal had won the seat in 2009 after forming his own outfit. The by-elections were held after Lal died.
Lal had won the Hissar Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 elections with a margin of 6,983 votes over his nearest rival Sampat Singh of the INLD, who later joined Congress shortly before 2009 Assembly elections.
Jai Prakash had finished third in 2009 Lok Sabha elections when he secured 2,04,539 votes as compared with 1,49,785 votes secured now.