BJP wins Keshkal bypoll in Chhattisgarh

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Feb 7 (UNI) The ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh today retained the Keshkal(ST) assembly seat in the tribal Bastar district.

BJP candidate Sevakram Netam defeated his nearest Congress rival Budhsen Markam by a margin of 21,886 votes in the byelection to the assembly constituency, polling for which was held on February 4.

The bypoll 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.

The 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 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, claiming the victory indicated that the BJP would sweep the next assembly elections in the state.

UNI XC JJ-SP YA DS1402

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