Congress suffered a major setback as it lost the Okhla Assembly by-election. RJD's Asif Mohammad Khan who had raised the Batla House encounter issue won the election.
Khan defeated BSP candidate Brahm Singh by narly 5,000 votes. The Congress candidate Farhat Suri came a distant third. The Congress lost the other seat, Dwarka, for which by-poll was held, to BJP.
In Okhla, the contest had reached a feverish pitch. In the last election, Congress candidate Parvez Hashmi had barely won the seat by a margin of 500 votes. However, Khan who had given a tough fight to Hashmi, emerged victorious on this occasion.
Muslims in Okhla were upset with the Congress' stand as its government repeatedly stalled attempts to order a judicial inquiry into the Batla House encounter. Though section of Congress leaders said that they favoured inquiry, the demand was not met.
The results were announced today. Thouh initially he was trailing, the RJD candidate later secured a lead over other contestants. Khan secured 23,394 votes. Brahm Singh who came second got nearly 18,387 votes followed by Congress' Farhad Suri (17,804), NCP's Ramvir Singh (17,000 votes).
After his win, Khan visited the graveyard and prayed for peace to the soul of the youths killed in the Jamia Nagar encounter last year. The youths hailed from Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh).
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