Neeraj wins father's Ballia LS seat; JD(U) retains Bikramganj

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Ballia/Sasaram, Jan 2 (UNI) In a setback to the Mayawati government, Mr Neeraj Shekhar, son of late former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, today won the Ballia Lok Sabha seat in UP on a Samajwadi Party ticket defeating his BSP rival, while the JD(U) retained the Bikramganj Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.

The CPI(M) retained the Balagarh Assembly seat in West Bengal.

Mr Neeraj Shekhar defeated his nearest rival and ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Vinay Shankar Tiwari with 1,31,285 votes.

The Ballia seat fell vacant, following the demise of Chandra Shekhar.

Defeating the 'social engineering' formula of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the SP nominee secured 2,95,735 votes.

Tiwari, the son of former UP minister and strongman Hari Shankar Tiwari and one of the strongest contenders in the fray banking on the polarisation of Brahmin and Dalit votes in UP, remained on the second slot with 1,64,450 votes.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Virendra Singh Mast was on the third position securing 22,723 votes.

Little known Bharatiya Samaj Party's Dr Uma Shankar Nishad got 21,469 votes. Congress nominee Rajeev Upadhyay secured had to satisfy himself with only 10,755 votes.

In Bikramganj, Meena Singh, widow of JD(U) MP Ajit Singh, was declared victorious.

Mrs Singh defeated her nearest rival RJD's Ashok Kumar Kushwaha by a margin of about 31,000 votes and retained the seat.

Official sources said Mrs Singh got 1,58,000 votes, while Mr Kushwaha secured 1,27,000 votes.

The sources said that the BSP candidate Baliram Mishra was polled 55,000 votes.

The death of Mr Ajit Singh, JD(U) MP, who represented the constituency necessitated the by-election. Mr Singh was killed in a road accident in Siwan last year.

Altogether, 12 candidates, including JD(U) candidate Meena Singh, RJD's Ashok Kumar Kushwaha, CPI-ML's Arun Singh and Balram Mishra of the BSP in the fray.

In Balagarh, the CPI(M) candidate defeated the Trinamool Congress nominee in the December 29 by-election, the results of which were declared today.

Hooghly District Magistrate (DM) Vinod Kumar Seth said Mr Bhuban Kumar Pramanik of the CPI(M) was declared elected by a margin of 8,410 votes over his nearest rival Mr Asim Majhi of the Trinamool Congress.

While Mr Pramanik cornered 60,101 votes, Mr Majhi secured 51,691 votes. BJP nominee Banshi Rout had a share of 8,833 votes while Congress candidate Biswanath Malik finished fourth with 5,864 votes.

The by-election was necessitated following the death of Mr Dibakar Rout, the sitting MLA of the CPI(M). However, in the last Assembly elections held in 2006, the CPI(M) had won the seat by more than 18,000 votes.

UNI Team RP PM1755

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