Manohar Parrikar wins Panaji by-poll; Counting continues in Delhi and Andhra

August 28, 2017, 8:46 am
Manohar Parrikar wins Panaji by-poll; Counting continues in Delhi and Andhra
POLITICS
POLITICS
Manohar Parrikar wins Panaji by-poll; Counting continues in Delhi and Andhra

Manohar Parrikar wins Panaji by-poll; Counting continues in Delhi and Andhra

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday won the Assembly bypoll held in Panaji with a margin of 4,803 votes. The counting of votes for high-stakes Assembly by-elections on two seats in New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh is still going on.

Parrikar, who polled 9,862 votes, beat his nearest rival Congress' Girish Chodankar, who netted 5,059 votes. Anand Shirodkar of the Goa Suraksha Manch came a distant third polling 220 votes.

Voting took place for the Bawana seat in Delhi, Valpoi and Panaji seats in Goa and Nandyal seat in Andhra Pradesh on 23 August.

Parrikar was pitted against Congress nominee Girish Chodankar and Goa Suraksha Manch’s Anand Shirodkar. He assumed the office in March after resigning as defence minister. When he took charge, he was not an MLA which necessitated elections.

In Valpoi, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane of the BJP who took on Roy Naik of the Congress also won by a margin of 10,066 votes.

The counting of votes for Bawana by-election in Delhi is also being seen as a barometer of political influence in the capital city. The results will settle a battle for political prestige as the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has not seen an electoral victory after it stormed to power in the 2015 and BJP, at any cost, trying to bag the seat. AAP, the BJP and the Congress, all of whom have exuded confidence about winning the Assembly seat reserved for the SC category.

Eight candidates are in the fray but essentially the AAP, the BJP and the Congress are locked in a triangular contest. The BJP has fielded Ved Prakash who had won from the constituency in the 2015 elections as an AAP candidate. He had resigned from Assembly membership and joined the BJP in March this year, necessitating the by-election. The AAP's candidate is Ram Chandra, while the Congress has placed its bet on former three-time MLA from Bawana, Surendra Kumar.

The Nandyal By-Election in Andhra Pradesh is viewed as a key battle by which the future of a BJP-TDP alliance will be decided. The results are being seen as a referendum on the TDP rule. Stakes are too high for both parties here as the by-election was held on the Nandyal seat following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March this year.

The critical by-poll results could either be a booster for the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP government or give Jagan Reddy a much-needed rise in Andhra Pradesh politics. There were reports of clashes between supporters of the TDP and YSRC on the polling day.