BJP wins Keshkal by-poll in Chhattisgarh

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Feb 7 (UNI) Ruling BJP retained the Keshkal(ST) assembly seat with its candidate Sevakram Netam defeating his nearest Congress rival Budhsen Markam by a margin of 21,886 votes in the byelection.

The February 4 by-poll was necessitated due to the death of BJP legislator Mahesh Baghel, who was also a Parliamentary Secretary in the Dr Raman Singh ministry, in a road accident few months ago.

In the counting of votes here today, BJP candidate polled 58,362 votes while his Congress rival got 36,476 votes. Independent candidates N Suri polled 3,099 votes while Mahesh Thakur and Sonuram Naik polled 3,114 and 8,307 votes respectively.

Mr Sevakram Netam said his victory was the outcome of the state government's policies aimed at the welfare of poor and downtrodden.

''People in the remote areas are getting rice at subsidised rates and development works are also being carried out'', he said, adding his victory also indicated that the BJP would sweep the next assembly elections.

UNI XC JJ-SP 1331

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