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BJP retains Keshkal seat in Chhattisgarh

The ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh retains the Keshkal assembly seat after the final round of counting was over at Jagdalpur on Thursday, reports Ejaz Kaiser.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2008 12:57 IST
Ejaz Kaiser
Ejaz Kaiser
Hindustan Times

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Chhattisgarh retained the Keshkal assembly seat after the final round of counting was over at Jagdalpur on Thursday.

The BJP candidate Sewak Ram Netam defeated Budhsen Markam of Indian National Congress by a margin of 21,886 votes in the by-poll. The other three candidates who were in the election fray lost their security deposits.

The election to the Keshkal, a schedule tribe reserved seat, was necessitated when it fell vacant after the BJP legislator, Mahesh Baghel, was killed in a car accident in August last year.

The by-election, which was held on February 4, saw a record turnout of voters with some booths registering around 88 percentage of voting. The overall voting was over 70 per cent.

With the win in the Keshkal by-poll the BJP takes its tally to 53 while the main opposition Congress has 35 members in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha.

The winning BJP candidate while talking to Hindustan Times gave credit to the leadership of Dr Raman Singh, the chief minister of the state. The Congress spokesperson Ramesh Varlyani however charged the state government for forcing the district administration to adopt manipulative tactics for ensuring the victory of the BJP candidate.