BJP stalwart Gopal Bhargava, who has a reputation for not campaigning during elections, on Sunday registered his ninth consecutive victory from the Rehli seat of Madhya Pradesh as his party surged ahead to retain power in the state.
Bhargava (71) defeated his nearest rival and Congress candidate Jyoti Patel by 72,800 votes. He will be the most experienced legislator in the new assembly.
The popular politician, who was the leader of opposition during the Kamal Nath-led Congress regime, had first won from Rehli in 1985. Since then, he has been invincible, winning all assembly elections from the seat in the past 38 years.
Bhargava, a cabinet minister since 2003 with different portfolios, has said that he doesn't need to campaign as he believes in working for people all five years.
Former chief minister and BJP leader late Babulal Gaur, a ten-time MLA, had won eight times in a row from Govindpura of Bhopal. He had been elected two times from Bhopal South (now Bhopal South-West) seat of the state capital.
Another former chief minister of BJP, the late Kailash Joshi, had won eight assembly elections between 1962 and 1993 from the Bagli seat of Dewas district.
Of the 230 seats in the state, the BJP has so far won 77 seats and is ahead in 87 constituencies. The Congress has bagged 19 seats and is leading in 46.
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