Bhopal, Nov 3 (UNI) Giving a shock to the ruling BJP, incarcerated Samajwadi Party candidate Kishore Samrite today won the by-election to the Lanji assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh's naxal-hit Balaghat district.
Mr Samrite, who came on the third spot in the 2003 election, wrested the seat from the BJP by a margin of 3734 votes, netting a total of 28,779 votes as against 25,045 votes polled by his nearest BJP rival Dhareshwari Bhatere, widow of former minister Dilip Bhatere (BJP), whose death necessitated the by-election.
Samrite, 32, contested the by-poll from behind bars as he was detained eight months ago on the charges of arson and loot after leading a public agitation against alleged extortion by a market contractor. Seventeen other candidates lost their deposits, official sources said.
Congress candidate Bhagwat Bhau Nagpure came a poor third scoring 11,738 votes. Two former MPs -- Kankar Munjare of the Janata Party and Sukhlal Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Samanata Dal -- bagged 673 and 1311 votes respectively.
The Uma Bharti-led Bharatiya Janshakti nominee Budhram Devgade could get only 1096 votes, while Gondwana Gantantra Party candidate Rajeshwar Choudhary bagged 767 votes. Siddharth Patil of the Republican Party of India (A) polled a mere 163 votes.