Jogi’s defeat, after leading almost till the penultimate rounds of counting, has come as a shock in the Congress circles, as he was widely expected to pull through. According to information that was available on the ECI website, till 7 PM Jogi was leading by 200 odd votes. However, the tables turned on him in the last couple of rounds as Sahu caught up and ended as the winner with a margin of only 1217 votes.
Not willing to accept his defeat, Jogi, has demanded recount and alleged tampering with the EVMs. Till the filing of the report, no recount had been ordered.
Though BJP’s Chandu Lal Sahu had won this seat in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, defeating Congress nominee, Moti Lal Sahu by a margin of over 50,000 votes, it was considered a safe bet for the Congress. In fact in the past 13 Lok Sabha elections (since 1951) preceding this one, Congress had lost this seat only twice and BJP has won this seat only once.
Interestingly, in this contest Sahu had 10 namesakes in the fray, which many allege was Congress’s game plan to confuse the voters. If true, the party did succeed in confusing the voters to a great extent as the other 7 Sahus managed to poll nearly 60,000 votes. But in the final run, eveb that couldn’t prevent Jogi’s defeat.
Jogi had contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from here and had won them with an impressive margin of over 1.18 lakh votes. He had defeated heavyweight V.C. Shukla, who had then contested Lok Sabha election as saffron party’s nominee.
It was during the 2004 electioneering that Jogi met with a near fatal accident on April 11. He was operated upon for severe spinal injuries and since then he remains in a wheelchair.