After suffering a string of electoral debacles in recent times, Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seemed to have redeemed itself with a resounding victory in Bawana Assembly constituency. The by-elections in three states saw the ruling parties retaining as many seats. AAP candidate Ram Chander thumped BJP’s Ved Prakash, who defected to the saffron party, by over 24,000 votes. On the other hand, Congress’ three-time former MLA Surendra Kumar trailed closely behind to finish third.
The Bawana by-poll was necessitated after Prakash, who had won the seat as AAP nominee in 2015, left the party in March this year and joined the BJP. While Chander secured 59,886 votes, BJP’s Ved Prakash finished with 35,834 votes. Congress’ Surender Kumar bagged 31, 919 votes. With this victory, the AAP has now 66 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.
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. Parrikar, who returned to state politics in March following his stint as the defence minister, overcame his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar by 4,803 votes. The victories are considered as important for the BJP as the party does not enjoy a majority on its own in the 40-member assembly.
The by-polls in the coastal state were necessitated after BJP leader Sidharth Kuncolienkar had stepped down to make way for Parrikar’s election and Rane quit the Congress soon after the Assembly elections. Rane defeated his nearest Congress rival Roy Naik by 10,066 votes. With the victories, BJP increased its tally in the 40-member House to 14. Congress, however, still remains the single largest party with 16 MLAs.
Meanwhile, by-poll in Andhra Pradesh saw the ruling TDP retaining the Nandyal seat where its candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, a political novice, defeated his YSR Congress rival Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy, a former state minister, by over 27,000 votes. The by-election was held following the demise of TDP MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March.