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

Four-Time Goa CM Manohar Parrikar Wins Panaji Bypoll, Rane Leading From Valpoi

In Goa, BJP came out with flying colors as Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Panaji, while health minister Vishwajit Rane retained Valpoi seat.

Bypolls to Nandyal Assembly constituency of Andhra Pradesh and two seats in Goa witnessed a high turnout percentage of over 70 while only 45 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Delhi's lone seat of Bawana.

With many surveys claiming that AAP's popularity has taken a dip, the Bawana by-election result was being seen as a defining test for the party as well as its leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

N Chandrababu Naidu-headed Telugu Desam Party defeated its arch rival YSR Congress in Nandyal Assembly constituency of Andhra Pradesh. Goa Health Minister and BJP candidate Vishwajit Rane won by-elections in Valpoi by a whopping margin of 10,066 votes. Voting was held peacefully in 379 polling stations across the Assembly constituency. AAP candidate Ram Chander thumped BJP's Ved Prakash, who defected to the saffron party, by over 24,000 votes. Eight candidates are in the fray for the election in which the AAP, the BJP, and the Congress are locked in a keen contest. Before being promoted to the union rank, he was an MLA from Panaji from 1994 to 2014.

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

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In a huge relief for the AAP, the party was able to retain the Bawana Assembly seat in Delhi.

Mr. Parrikar said, "All methods were tried - legal, media, social media and scurrilous publicity".

In Panaji, the bypoll was necessitated after Manohar Parrikar's return to Goa in March as Chief Minister.

BJP was represented by Ved Parkash while the Congress fielded a Surender Kumar, who has been a legislator three times. At the end of round one, Parrikar had secured 4290 votes while Congress's Girish Chodankar won 2252 votes. All three parties have exuded confidence about winning the Assembly seat. He subsequently joined the BJP which made him a minister.

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

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