Results of Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada by-election will be declared today after counting of votes began on Friday morning with Congress candidate leading by a margin of 2,778 votes. The by-election is for the Dantewada Assembly seat.
The counting of votes for the Dantewada by-election, held on September 23 in the Maoist-affected assembly seat, began at 8 today at the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) campus in Dantewada district headquarters, a poll official said.
As per the early trends, Devti Karma of the Congress was leading by a margin of 2,778 votes against her nearest rival Ojaswi Mandavi of the BJP, he said.
Karma secured 6,720 votes, while Mandavi got 3942 votes after initial rounds of counting in the Dantewada by-election, he added.
The ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh and Opposition BJP are locked in a direct fight for this assembly constituency. The Dantewada Assembly seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates only. The by-election in Dantewada was necessitated after the death of sitting BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi in a Maoist attack in April this year.
In the 2018 Assembly polls, Devti Karma had lost to Bhima Mandavi by a thin margin of 2,172 votes in the Dantewada seat. In the 90-member state Assembly, the Congress won 68 seats last year and the BJP 15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the BSP had bagged five and two seats respectively.
Both the ruling Congress and the BJP have fielded candidates who have been victims of Naxal violence, with the former pitting Devti Karma, wife of senior party leader Mahendra Karma who was killed in the Jhiram Valley attack in 2013, against the latter’s Ojaswi Mandavi, wife of slain MLA Bhima Mandavi.
(With inputs from PTI)