Manoj Tiwari forms inquiry committee to examine BJP's Bawana defeat

Counting of votes for 4 Assembly seats will be held

On August 23, polling for the bye-election for Bawana seat saw 45% voter turnout.

"The by-elections are a moral defeat for BJP, as their candidates indulged in corrupt practices as official position was used by the two candidates to offer jobs to the voters", said Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Shantaram Naik while addressing a press conference in Panaji. The Congress, which had till 2013 ruled Delhi for 15 years straight, had drawn a blank in the assembly elections in 2015 and continues to have no presence in the assembly.

State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, who resigned as Congress MLA to join the BJP in Goa, increased his victory margin in Valpoi seat to 10,066 votes from 4,066 votes in the February elections. AAP's Ram Chander bagged 59,886 votes, BJP's Ved Prakash got 35,834 votes and Congress who shown a fine surge in vote share remained distant third at 31,919 votes. But, as the votes polled in the booths of the slum clusters started coming into the picture, the AAP widened its margin. While the chief minister spread his wings too early in an attempt to become a national leader by fielding candidates in states such as Punjab and Goa, the BJP, on the other hand, is doing the exact opposite and focusing too much on Delhi when it clearly doesn't benefit significantly, if at all from it. Just weeks before the election, former Congress minister Babush Monserrate, who was expected to take on Parrikar in Panaji, switched camps and moved to the Goa Forward Party, which is tied up with the BJP. On Monday, the Congress led in the first seven rounds of counting, winning in the rural parts of the constituency.

The win in Bawana could be a major psychological boost for the AAP leadership as the party had been on a steady downswing ever since its victory in the Delhi assembly polls, in which it had swept 67 out of 70 seats.

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The by-election was held because Ved Prakash had to resign as a legislator after shifting to the BJP.

Monday's victory may have given Parrikar some respite, but considering he is tied up with the allies (three Goa Forward, three Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three independents) that have switched sides and tweaked their "ideologies" at the drop of a hat, the BJP chief minister will be constantly looking over his shoulder, unless of course he manages with inducements to lure more Congress MLAs to tilt the scales. The Congress finished third but put up a credible performance.

TDP's Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, a political greenhorn, overcame the YSR Congress' tough challenge to add another feather to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's cap.

The AAP has won this seat again, but it has lost nearly 50,000 votes in just two years in the constituency. Nagi Reddy, who crossed over to the TDP a year ago, died in April, causing the vacancy. As many as 1,413 votes were polled under the "none of the above" (NOTA) category.

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