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Khanduri wins by-poll, BJP gets majority
September 02, 2007 15:16 IST
Chief Minister B C Khanduri on Sunday secured a majority for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttarakhand by defeating his nearest Congress rival by over 14,000 votes in a by-poll to the Dhumakot assembly seat.
At the end of the counting this afternoon, Khanduri polled a total of 22,708 votes while Congress' Surendra Singh Negi got 8,537 votes. Independent candidate Manish Sunderiyal received 848 votes.
A total of 32,277 votes were cast in the bye-election which was held on August 29, an official spokesman said.
With today's win, the BJP touched the majority mark of 36 MLAs in the 70-member house. It has also got the support of the three-member Uttarakhand Kranti Dal as well as three independent MLAs.
BJP workers celebrated the chief minister's victory with crackers and distributing sweets at the party headquarters in Dehradun and also at Dhumakot.
Khanduri addressed a rally at Dhumakot and thanked people for giving him a resounding victory.
Reacting to the victory, party spokesman Davendra Bhasin said the victory margin showed that people of Dhumakot had voted above caste lines.
State Congress spokesman Surendra Kumar said the party accepted the poll verdict. "But it would not wash out the stains of alleged misuse of official machinery by Khanduri in the by-election," he said.
The election to Dhumakot was necessitated after Congress leader T P S Rawat quit the seat in favour of Khanduri. Rawat has since then joined the BJP and is likely to contest from Pauri Parliamentary seat, which will be vacated by the chief minister.
Under the Constitution, Khanduri was to become a member of the Vidhan Sabha within six months after becoming Chief Minister on March 8.