Assembly bypolls: Counting of votes today; all eyes on Panaji, Bawana

29 August 2017, 12:29 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar

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Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who won the Panaji assembly by-poll on Monday, said a church-backed fact finding report into serial desecrations in Goa was part of a conspiracy against him ahead of the August 23 by-elections.

Aam Aadmi Party on Monday returned to its winning streak in Delhi by retaining Bawana Assembly seat in a bypoll with a margin of 24,052 votes after suffering a series of electoral shocks in the past months.

This high-stakes battle won by the TDP by more than 27,000 votes was nearly a personal contest between TDP head and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on the one hand and YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy on the other.

In the bypoll, Panaji saw a voter-turnout of 70 per cent with 15,538 people casting their votes.

Earlier in the day, the mood in the BJP camp was rapturous after Parrikar and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane won the bypolls in Panaji and Valpoi respectively, the latter with a sizeable margin of 10,066 votes. Voting was held peacefully in 379 polling stations across the Assembly constituency. Reddy had won the seat in 2014 as YSR Congress candidate, but jumped over to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2016. Before joining the Union Cabinet, he had been winning the Panaji seat since 1994. The by-election was held following the demise of TDP MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March. The Nandyal result will be widely seen as a trend setter for the general and assembly elections in the state in 2019 and may also alter the political equations.

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Bawana bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of Ved Prakash as the legislator in March.

AAP candidate Ram Chandra, CM Arvind Kejriwal and other ministers of the Delhi government had all campaigned in Bawana. He resigned as an MLA, jumped ship and was soon made a minister in the Parrikar government. With 16167 votes, Vishwajit Rane beat Congress candidate Roy Naik, who received 6101 votes after total four rounds of counting.

Congress was pinning hopes on Kumar's popularity in the area but it could not match up with the AAP.

Manohar Parrikar, the Goa chief minister has won Panaji bypoll by 4803 votes.

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