Published: Thu, August 31, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

AAP wins Bawana bypoll in boost for Kejriwal , setback for BJP

AAP wins Bawana bypoll in boost for Kejriwal , setback for BJP

The by-poll was ordered after Prakash, who was the AAP member from the constituency in north-west Delhi, resigned the seat and switched to the BJP. A surprise element was the Congress vote bank jumping from 7.8 per cent in 2015 to 24.21 per cent this time. The vote share of both AAP and BJP came down - the BJP had got 31.40 per cent votes in 2015, while the AAP had polled 57.9 per cent.

While supporters of the saffron party would not want too much to be read into such a disappointing defeat, the celebrations of their party's victory in Goa by-polls along with the nature and margin of the defeat in Delhi make, giving attention to AAP's victory logical.

The results of the assembly by-elections were announced August 28, with ruling parties winning in three states. The bypoll was watched most keenly as the ruling had not seen an electoral victory after the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. Rane is health minister in the Goa government.

Having lost two seats that went to polls in Goa, the Congress today alleged that the ruling BJP "indulged in corrupt practises". Nagi Reddy, who crossed over to the TDP past year, died in April, causing the vacancy.

What made the competition more interesting is the fact, that Ved Prakash had won Bawana as an AAP candidate in the assembly elections but quit the party just before key civic elections in March this year and joined the BJP.

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BJP's Sidharth Kuncolienkar had won the seat in 2014 bypoll and also in the 2017 election, but stepped down to make way for Parrikar's election from Panaji, which the chief minister represented from 1994 to November 2014.

However, in Goa, it was an easy win for the four time Chief Minister Mahohar Parrikar who managed to secure his win with a high margin of 4,803 votes defeating Congress's Girish Chodankar.

One of the 12 reserved constituencies, Bawana has around 2.94 lakh voters and is dotted with 26 villages, unauthoried colonies and slums. Congress finished third with its candidate Surender Kumar receiving 27,596 votes. The result of the by-election, a morale booster for chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP, was announced on Monday.

The ruling TDP and main opposition YSRCP were the only two parties in the contest, cornering 96.24% of the votes polled.

Defeating the chief minister in a constituency that has remained saffron - though not always with significant vote margins - for nearly a quarter century was always going to be a tough prospect for the Congress.

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