Months ahead of the general elections, the counting for high-stake bypoll held at Haryana’s Jind and Rajasthan’s Ramgarh assembly constituency has begun today, and the results are considered to be crucially influential to the Lok Sabha election.

The Jind bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Hari Chan Middha; while the election for Ramgarh seat in Rajasthan was scheduled on December 7, 2018 – but postponed to January 28 due to the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate. The Jind and Ramgarh bypoll election held on January 28 saw a heavy voter turnout of 70 percent and 79 percent respectively. The counting had begun at both constituencies today morning, and the results are to be declared today evening.

Although both the assembly constituencies are numerically insignificant, the bypoll results are dubbed as a semi-final and a prestige war between political parties. The results will also give out the insight of political winds among people of India, proving to be decisive to the general election results, just ahead of the polls that are to be held this year in May. Hence, the bypolls are a test run for all four major parties – the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the newly launched Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).

At the end of the 20 rounds of counting at Ramgarh, Congress candidate Shafia Zubair garnered a total of 83311 votes and was declared the winner of the election. With the victory, Congress has received 100 seats in the assembly – while the battle for Jind is still on where BJP is currently leading the counts that has touched to the sixth round. Besides being a prestige battle for BJP, it is also considered as a referendum on the Manohar Lal Khattar government – and a test before the test.