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

The counting of votes for four Assembly seats - Panaji, Valpoi, Nandyal and Bawana - spread across three states will be held tomorrow.

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: August 28, 2017 0:02 IST ]
Counting of votes for 4 Assembly seats will be held
Image Source : PTI Counting of votes for 4 Assembly seats will be held tomorrow

The counting of votes for four Assembly seats spread across three states will be held tomorrow. While the Nandyal Assembly constituency in Andhra Pradesh has become a battle of prestige for TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and YSRC head Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Panaji seat holds the future for Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. In Delhi, the three major political parties -- the ruling AAP, the BJP and the Congress -- are vying for a win in Bawana which is being seen as a barometer of political influence in the city.

The four Assembly seats went to polls on August 23. For the first time, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) was used in the by-election. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box but the voter cannot take it home.

Nandyal:

A high voter turnout of about 80 per cent was today recorded in the by-election to Nandyal Assembly constituency in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, where the ruling TDP and opposition YSR Congress (YSRC) are locked in a fierce battle. The Nandyal result will be widely seen as a trend setter for the general and assembly elections in the state in 2019 and may also alter the political equations.

The by-election was held following the death of sitting MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March. Reddy had won the seat in 2014 as YSR Congress candidate, but jumped over to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 2016.

Reddy's nephew Brahmananda Reddy is now the TDP candidate, while the YSRC fielded former minister Silpa Chandra Mohan Reddy who switched sides to the opposition party just days ahead of the bypoll.

Though there are 15 candidates in the fray, the main fight is between the TDP and the YSRC.

Panaji, Valpoi

Two Assembly seats of Goa -- Panaji and Valpoi -- went to polls on August 23. Panaji constituency recorded 70 per cent polling and Valpoi 79.80 per cent

In the Panaji contest, Chief Minister and BJP stalwart Manohar Parrikar is in the fray against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's confidante Girish Chodankar.

In Valpoi, the BJP has fielded Congress rebel and Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane, whose main opponent is Roy Naik, the son of former state Home minister Ravi Naik, of the Congress.

Panaji has been a bastion for BJP since 1994. The Panaji bypoll was necessitated after the BJP's sitting MLA Siddharth Kuncolienkar vacated the seat for Parrikar, as the latter has to get elected to the Assembly within six months of becoming the Chief Minister.

Valpoi by-election became necessary after Rane, the sitting MLA, joined the BJP after the Parrikar-led government won a crucial floor test in March this year.

Bawana bypoll: 

Only 45 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in Bawana bypolls on August 23, much lower than the 2015 figure of 61.83 per cent. 

The bypoll was necessitated after the resignation of Ved Prakash as the legislator in March.

Prakash had won from Bawana, a seat reserved for the SC category, in 2015 Assembly elections as an AAP candidate. Eight candidates are in the fray for the election in which the AAP, the BJP, and the Congress are locked in a keen contest. All three parties have exuded confidence about winning the Assembly seat.

The BJP has fielded Ved Prakash who had won from the constituency in 2015 elections as an AAP candidate. He resigned from Assembly membership and joined the BJP in March this year.

The AAP has fielded Ram Chandra while the Congress has put its bet on former three-time MLA from Bawana, Surendra Kumar.

There are a total of 2.94 lakh voters in Bawana.

In the 70-member Delhi Assembly, the AAP has 65 MLAs, the BJP four whole Congress is hoping to open its account in the House by winning this seat. 

(With PTI inputs)

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