Goa CM Parrikar wins in Panaji, counting underway in Bawana, Nandyal & Valpoi

Posted August 31, 2017

In interior Valpoi, Vishwajit Rane won on a BJP ticket with a 10,087 vote margin against Roy Naik, son of former Congress chief Minister Ravi Naik.

Following defeat in the Panaji and Valpoi bypolls, the Congress party on Monday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party indulged in corrupt practices and said that the bypolls are a moral defeat for BJP.

In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, the AAP has 65 MLAs, the BJP four, while Congress was hoping to open its account in the House by winning this seat. AAP candidate Ram Chander received 42042 votes after 17 rounds of counting, whereas the Congress nominee Surender Kumar polled 25885. The TDP candidate, Bhuma Bramananda Reddy won a little over 50 per cent of the votes polled, defeating his closest rival, Shilpa Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress in an election that saw a voter-turnout that exceeded 80 per cent.

One of the 12 reserved constituencies, Bawana has one of the largest concentration of voters-2.94 lakh-and is dotted with 26 villages, colonies, and slums.

However, Prakash quit the party and resigned from the Delhi Assembly to join the BJP in March, ahead of the municipal corporation elections.

Sources in the Delhi Congress said the party had expected to gain from the AAP MLA, Ved Prakash, defecting to the BJP and contesting as its candidate. Besides Panaji, by-election was also held in Valpoi constituency on August 23. Party leaders said that the decline in vote percentage of the Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP should worry them. Having lost Pratapsingh's ambitious son to the BJP, the Congress could well be staring at the loss of at least three seats to the saffron party in this part of interior Goa in the future if it doesn't work to counter the Ranes' influence in the Sattari taluka. The role fell upon All India Congress Committee secretary and party loyalist Girish Chodankar, who put up a formidable campaign despite the party's ground-level organsation staying away from the campaign after Monserrate joined the Goa Forward Party.

The electoral fate of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who contested the assembly by-election from Panaji, is also to be decided. The election was necessary because within six months of becoming the Chief Minister, sitting MLA Siddharth Kuncolienkar had vacated the seat for Parrikar. The Congress was a distant third with just 1,382 votes, still reeling from public anger over bifurcation of the state.