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

Battle for Bawana: Counting of votes underway

The Congress had won 17 seats in the February assembly polls, as compared to 12 by the BJP, but swift manoeuvring enabled the BJP to stake claim to power by aligning with Goa Forward, Maharshtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independent MLAs.

AAP's candidate was Ram Chander, while the Congress had bet on former three-time MLA from Bawana, Surendra Kumar.

N Chandrababu Naidu-headed Telugu Desam Party defeated its arch rival YSR Congress in Nandyal Assembly constituency of Andhra Pradesh.

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

The four Assembly seats went to polls on August 23.

The result puts a brake on BJP's poll victories in the capital where it had won the Rajouri Garden bypoll by defeating Congress candidate and pushing AAP to third position. In Delhi, Bawana bypoll has become a matter of prestige for the ruling AAP, the BJP, and the Congress. Before joining the Union Cabinet, he had been winning the Panaji seat since 1994.

The by-election was held following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March.

Prakash had won from Bawana, a seat reserved for the SC category, in 2015 Assembly elections as an AAP candidate. Chief minister Manohar Parrikar managed to retain the Panaji seat that he had won five times previously and has been with the BJP for 23 years.

The by-election to the Bawana constituency was necessitated by the resignation of Mr Prakash, who switched over to the BJP in the run-up to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls.

Parrikar won with a margin of 4,803 votes, defeating his nearest rival Congress' Girish Chodankar. With 16 seats, the Congress is still the single largest party in the 40-member House. He subsequently joined the BJP which made him a minister. Fighting against the odds in a constituency he's hardly familiar with, Chodankar spent two weeks in a house-to-house campaign and polled over 5,000 votes, one of the highest counts the Congress has ever managed in Panaji.

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