Bypolls: AAP wins Bawana in Delhi, TDP takes Nandyal in AP, BJP gets Goa’s 2 seats

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NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on August 28 won a significant Delhi bypoll, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar emerged victorious in Panaji and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) clinched the Nandyal seat in Andhra Pradesh thus getting a boost ahead of next year’s state assembly elections.
Arguably, the most crucial win is that of AAP’s Ram Chander in Delhi’s Bawana as it gave Arvind Kejriwal’s party a much-needed psychological boost. Bawana is one of the Capital’s largest constituencies in terms of number of electors, but the August 23 bypoll but saw only a meagre turnout of 45 per cent. Chander won by over 55,000 votes.
The Bawana constituency saw mainly a three-way fight, with the ruling AAP, the BJP and the Congress all gunning for a win.
Incidentally, the BJP fielded Ved Prakash who won from the constituency in the 2015 elections as an AAP candidate. In fact, Prakash quitting the Assembly to join the BJP was the reason for the bypoll. The last significant bypoll in Rajouri Garden was won by the BJP and was seen as a big blow to AAP. But with Monday’s result going its way, AAP has managed to regain some trust, it appears.
Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh
This high-stakes battle won by the TDP by more than 27,000 votes was almost a personal contest between TDP head and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on the one hand and YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy on the other. The actual contestants from these parties were the TDP’s Bhuma Bramananda Reddy and the YS Congress’s Shilpa Mohan Reddy. The TDP won 50 percent of votes polled.
This bypoll was necessitated after the death of Bhuma Nagi Reddy, who in fact quit the YSR Congress last year to join the ruling TDP. The constituency witnessed a high-voltage and acrimonious campaign by the TDP’s Naidu and YSR Congress chief Reddy.
Police registered a case against Reddy for his alleged remark that there would be nothing wrong if Naidu was shot dead. The returning officer also issued a warning letter to Jagan, as the leader is popularly known, for violating the model code of conduct. The turnout for this August 23 bypoll exceeded 80 percent.
The Nandyal election was also being seen as a referendum on TDP-BJP rule, ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections.
Goa’s 2 bypolls
The BJP won both Goa bypolls, in the Panaji and Valpoi constituencies. Chief minister Parrikar was the BJP candidate in Panaji and he romped home nearly 5,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival. The BJP retained Panaji after sitting party legislator Sidarth Kuncolienkar resigned from the seat, enabling Parrikar to contest in the State Capital.
Valpoi was won by the BJP’s Vishwajit Rane. The seat, earlier held by the Congress, was a gain for the BJP. Rane used to be the Valpoi MLA from the Congress. His resignation as a Congress MLA to join the BJP was what made the bypoll necessary. Rane is health minister in the Goa government.
VVPATs used in all bypolls
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) were used for the first time in these bypolls.
VVPAT is a small printer like machine attached to the EVM which allows to the voters to verify that their vote has been cast correctly. Once a voter casts his vote, a small paper slip containing the name of candidate and poll symbol is generated from VVPAT machine. The paper slip appears for about 10 seconds. After the voter views the receipt, it automatically goes inside a sealed box attached to the EVM.

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