The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bypoll scare for Chautala

Chandigarh, May 25: Stung by the lacklustre performance of his party in the Fatehabad byelection, Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala today pulled up party workers, asking for greater dedication during future elections.

The Indian National Lok Dal candidate, Swatantar Chaudhary, was elected by a margin of 7,600 votes, much lower than in previous polls. The byelection had turned into a personal clash between Chautala and state Congress chief Bhajan Lal. The Congress bagged 15,000 more votes than last time due to Bhajan Lalís vigorous campaign.

Chautala has been under pressure for a year because of his differences with the BJP state unit and has also come under fire from a section in his own party.

Asked about the INLDís reduced vote share in the bypoll, the chief minister said the number of votes polled by the party in Fatehabad had been increasing since 1991. Chautala said it was heartening that his candidateís victory had shattered the dreams of Bhajan Lal.

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