Panaji/New Delhi: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Panaji as ruling parties retained three seats in as many states, and BJP wrested one from the Congress in the August 23 bypolls whose results were declared on Monday.
Parrikar, who returned to state politics in March this year after a stint as the defence minister, defeated his nearest Congress rival Girish Chodankar, considered close to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, by 4803 votes.
Parrikar, who had been winning the seat since 1994, resigned in November 2014 to join the Union Cabinet. BJP leader Sidharth Kuncolienkar, who won the subsequent by-poll from Panaji and retained the seat in the 2017 elections, had stepped down to make way for Parrikar's election.
BJP's Vishwajit Rane, who had quit the Congress soon after the Assembly elections, retained Valpoi seat, defeating his nearest Congress rival Roy Naik of the Congress by 10,066 votes, taking the saffron party's tally in the 40-member House to 14.
With 16 MLAs, Congress is still the single largest party, while Goa Forward Party (GFP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have three MLAs each, NCP one, and independents three. The BJP-led ruling coalition comprises GFP, MGP and the three independents.
After a string of electoral reverses in Punjab and Goa, Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party somewhat redeemed itself with a win in Bawana Assembly constituency where its candidate Ram Chander trounced BJP's Ved Prakash, an AAP turncoat, by over 24,000 votes. Three-time former MLA Surendra Kumar of Congress finished third.
Ved Prakash, who had won the Bawana seat as AAP nominee in 2015, quit the party in March this year and joined the BJP, necessitating a by-election.
With Chander's win in Bawana, the AAP exacted revenge for its candidate's loss to BJP in the by-election for Rajouri Garden seat earlier this year. AAP now has 66 MLAs in the 70- member Delhi Assembly and BJP four.
Andhra Pradesh's ruling TDP retained the Nandyal seat where its candidate Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, a political greenhorn, 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 death of TDP MLA Bhuma Nagi Reddy in March.
"I am thankful to the people of Panaji who elected me. It's a repeat of the 2012 assembly elections," Parrikar said soon after the result was declared, saying it was a vote for his government's performance and his personal connect with people.