Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi on Thursday won Shahkot Assembly bypoll in Punjab defeating his nearest rival Akali Dal's Naib Singh Kohar by 38,801 votes. Ladi got 82,745 votes while Akali Dal's candidate Kohar polled 43,944 votes.
The Shahkot seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February. Kohar, a former minister, was elected five times from this seat. His son Naib Singh Kohar has been fielded by the Akali Dal
Congress wrested the Shahkot bypoll from the opposition party Akali Dal. The Assembly seat was considered an Akali borough with the late Ajit Singh Kohar, Naib Singh Khar's father, being elected from there five times.
With this victory, Congress' strength in the 117-member Punjab Vidhan Sabha will reach 78, a two-third majority in the House. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan polled just 1,900 votes.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Ajit Singh Kohar in February this year.