The election to the Pachmarhi Cantonment Board Council in Hoshangabad district recently threw up a surprise result in favour of the Congress.

The Opposition party won six of the seven seats in the council and captured the post of vice-president.

The election result announced on Sunday may not be statistically significant, but it’s a boost to the morale of the Congress which has been out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003.

The party has made a return to the Pachmarhi Cantonment Council after a gap of 23 years and ahead of the Assembly elections slated to take place in October-November.

“Six candidates of one political party symbol [Congress] have won the election. The remaining one seat has been won by a candidate of a different party symbol,” Returning Officer (Sub-Divisional Magistrate) Madan Singh Raghuvanshi, Pipariya, announced late Sunday evening. The polling percentage was recorded at 79.27.

The result surprised the ruling BJP in the State which was hoping to retain control on at least four seats and emerge as the "kingmaker".

For the BJP, State Minister for Ayush Jalam Singh Patel, Hoshangabad MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh and Pipariya MLA Thakur Das Nagvanshi campaigned in support of the party candidates in the last two months. The Congress campaign was led by former Union Minister Suresh Pachouri and a team of local leaders.

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