However, the BJP, in power in the state, retained the Dewas Assembly seat. Nirmala Bhuria, daughter of Dileep Singh Bhuria, whose death necessitated the by-poll, lost to former Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria, who wrested the tribal-dominated seat from the BJP by a convincing margin of 88,832 votes, the Returning Officer said.

Buoyed by his victory, Kantilal said, "It is a victory of voters. The wave of BJP's defeat started from Jhabua would spread to the entire state and in the country.

"The by-polls were a direct contest between me and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and he suffered a humiliating defeat in Ratlam-Jhabua seat," Kantilal said.

In all, eight candidates were in the fray for the by-polls including a Janata Dal(U) aspirant. Kantilal got 5,36,743 votes while Nirmala bagged 4,47,911. Janata Dal (U) candidate Vijay Haari polled 21,549 votes. Besides, 24,342 voters opted for the NOTA (None of the Above) option.

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