The Congress on Thursday raced ahead of the BJP in the Lok Sabha constituencies of Ajmer and Alwar and the Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan. Counting of votes for all three seats is still underway.
The bypoll results are being seen as a litmus test for the state's BJP government that is facing an uphill battle as the Rajput community had openly announced support for the Congress in all three seats. It is also being considered as a direct contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress ahead of the Assembly elections due later this year.
The vote counting for the Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats is being done in the respective constituencies, whereas for the Mandalgarh Assembly seat the counting of votes is taking place in Bhilwara.
HERE ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS:
02:45 pm: Congress candidates led from the beginning in both the Lok Sabha seats and edged past the Bharatiya Janata Party in Mandalgarh after initially trailing at the second spot, Election Commission officials said.
02:01 pm: Congress candidate Vivek Dhakad wins Mandalgarh Assembly seat in Rajasthan.
1:43 pm: Even as the vote count continued, Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress had secured 245,774 votes in Alwar against Jaswant Singh Yadav's (BJP) 192,924 votes.
1:20 pm: Congress leading in Ajmer Lok Sabha by 45,321 votes, in Alwar Lok Sabha by 72,101 votes and in Mandalgarh Assembly by 11,136 votes.
12:32 pm: Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress secured 245,774 votes in Alwar against Jaswant Singh Yadav's (BJP) 192,924 votes.
12:05 pm: With Assembly elections scheduled later this year in Rajasthan, former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the results were a precursor to the 2019 general elections. "This by-election is a vote against BJP's divisive politics," Gehlot said.
12:02 pm: Raghu Sharma of the Congress had 154,336 votes in his kitty against the 128,291 bagged by the BJP's Ram Swaroop Lamba in Ajmer.
11:43 am: Vivek Dhakar of the Congress led by 2,112 votes in Mandalgarh. He had 45,011 votes against 42,999 votes of the BJP.
11:33 am: Congress leading in Ajmer Lok Sabha by 20,800 votes, in Alwar Lok Sabha by 43,728 votes and in Mandalgarh Assembly by 116 votes.
Initial trends from #RajasthanByPolls are a mandate against the Govt, I hope our leads will increase even more. Vasundhara ji and her Govt have been totally rejected by people: Sachin Pilot,Congress pic.twitter.com/UyW82Vhfvt— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2018
10:22 am: Official polling trends would be released after the completion of rounds of counting, Chief Election Officer Ashwani Bhagat said.
10:21 am: With Assembly elections scheduled later this year in Rajasthan, party leader and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the results were a precursor to the 2019 general elections. "This by-election is a vote against BJP's divisive politics," Gehlot said.
10:11 am: Ajmer Lok Sabha seat bypoll trends Congress candidate Raghu Sharma is ahead by 9097 votes.
10:01 am: There was enthusiasm at party offices of both the BJP and the Congress as they were upbeat about the initial trends.
09:55 am: Mandalgarh Assembly seat bypoll trends | Bharatiya Janata Party leading with 15,000 votes.
09:43 am: Alwar Lok Sabha seat bypoll trends | Congress ahead by 14,000 votes.
09:23 am: Mandalgarh bypoll trends | BJP's Shakti Singh Hada is leading, Independent Gopal Malviya stands second while Congress candidate Vivek Dhakad is on third spot.
09:20 am: In Pushkar and Dudu, Congress was leading by 1,500 votes respectively, while in Ajmer north, the party was leading by 3,000 votes. Congress was also leading in Kishangarh.
09:13 am: Congress candidate Raghu Sharma is leading in Ajmer Lok Sabha bypoll.
09:11 am: In Alwar, Congress candidate Karan Singh Yadav ahead by 10,000 votes. BJP candidate Jaswant Singh Yadav second.
08:57 am: As per early trends, Congress ahead in Ajmer by 5000 votes, BJP ahead in Manadalgarh.
08:22 am: Both BJP and Congress have campaigned aggressively in the state, as the bypolls results are expected to reveal the mood for the people.
08:00 am: Counting of votes for Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha seats and Mandalgarh Assembly seat has begun.
06:45 am: The three seats that went to polls were vacated due to demise of Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat, Alwar MP Chand Nath and Mandalgarh MLA Kirti Kumari. All the three leaders are from BJP.
06:34 am: A total of 42 candidates are in the fray for the bypolls to the three seats, the election to which was held on January 29.
06:29 am: Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies saw a voter turnout of 65.2 and 61.86 per cent respectively. The Mandalgarh Assembly seat saw 78.78 per cent polling.
06:28 am: BJP's Jaswant Singh Yadav Karan Singh Yadav of the Congress contested the election in Alwar.
06:25 am: In Ajmer, Congress' Raghu Sharma and Ram Swaroop Lamba of the BJP locked horns.
06:15 am: BJP's Shakti Singh Hada and Congress's Vivek Dhakad are poised for a tough fight in Mandalgarh.
06:12 am: In 2014 elections, Ajmer had registered 68.65 per cent voting, Alwar 65.50 per cent, while Mandalgarh had witnessed 82 per cent voting in 2013 Assembly elections.
06:01 am: Eleven candidates in Alwar, 23 in Ajmer and eight candidates in Mandalgarh were in the fray.