Most of the people in the country are unaware of the by-elections taking place anywhere in the country. These elections are overshadowed by the general elections and very less number of media outlets report on these elections. However, this does not hide the fact that these elections are important. Recently, by-elections took place in Delhi as well as Goa. To know more about the reason and results of the by-elections in Goa and Delhi, we need to first understand what are by-elections and why are they held.

What are by-elections?

  The term by-poll or by-election means the process of selection of candidate to Assembly or Lok Sabha after the elections are done on all other seats of that geography. Okay to put in this way there are few reasons of seat getting vacant after elections in which re election is to be done. This is called by-election. Reasons can be as follows:

  • Sudden death of the elected candidate.
  • Elected candidate resigns.

It is a bit tweaked process and sometimes it leads to wastage of resources as well. For example, if a leader got elected for State Assembly and serves there for some time and if he gets elected in Lok Sabha, so naturally he will leave his post in State Assembly and will join Lok Sabha. In this case, there will be re-election or by-election before the actual term of five years is over and there will be wastage of resources.

By-elections in Delhi:

  The by-elections took place in Bawana, Delhi. The By-polls were held in Bawana because AAP’s legislator Ved Prakash had quit Aam Aadmi Party and joined BJP in March, this year, just before the civic elections of Delhi. So it happened, to win the vacant seat, BJP landed Ved Prakash as their contender, while AAP fielded party volunteer Ram Chandra, who had won the Bawana seat in 2008 elections, fighting for BSP. Congress party fielded Surendra Kumar, a party veteran and three times MLA from Bawana. This seemed to be a small election but for AAP, it was a major election after having gone through a certain downfall.

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The voting took place in Delhi assembly on the morning of 23rd August. The result came out in the morning of 29th August. To everyone’s surprise, it was AAP who won the election with a clear majority. Ram Chandra won the elections and AAP retained the Bawana seat. AAP got 59,886 votes to BJP’s 35,834 votes. Congress managed to get 31,919 votes. Congress would be pleased with their performance as they managed to double their votes tally compared to 2015 assembly elections. However, BJP would be devastated because they came down to half number of votes they obtained in 2015 assembly elections, even after a good performance in civic poll elections. AAP, who won the election by a clear majority of 24,000 votes, will be happy with their first win since 2015 assembly elections in Delhi. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal termed this victory to “clean” politics and his government’s performance in the national capital. AAP convener thanked the voters and volunteers for the victory.

By-elections in Goa:

  In Goa, by-elections were held for two seats, Panaji and Valpoi. The by-elections in Valpoi became necessary when Rane left the Congress and resigned as MLA before joining BJP. While in Panaji, Manohar Parrikar, who had been representing Panaji since 1994, had resigned in November 2014, to join the Union Cabinet as Defence minister. Sidharth Kuncolienkar, who won the subsequent by-elections from Panaji and retained his seat in the assembly elections, made his way for Parrikar to contest. From Congress, Panaji’s contender was Girish Chodankar and Valpoi’s contender was Roy Naik, son of senior Congress leader Ravi Naik.

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The voting for the elections took place on the same day as Delhi by-poll elections i.e. on 23rd August. However, when the results came out on the morning of 28th August, it was BJP who rejoiced. BJP won both the seats of Panaji and Valpoi. As per the final results, Parrikar got 9,862votes while his rival Girish Chodankar got 5,059 votes. GSM got 220 votes while NOTA got 301 votes. While in Valpoi seat, Rane defeated Naik by 10,066 votes.

After the defeat, Naik accused BJP of luring the votes by promising jobs and indulging in corrupt practices. Girish Chodankar, on the other hand, was sad for the loss but felt he had made his place in people’s hearts. While in a joint press conference, Parrikar and Rane said there was a big conspiracy against them. After this result, the BJP’s strength in the house had risen to 14, which is too short to Congress’s 16. The Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have 3 MLAs each, NCP has one and three MLAs are independent. The BJP allies contain GFP, MGP and three independents.

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