Dehra Dun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna defeated his nearest BJP rival from Sitarganj Assembly seat hours after counting for the recently concluded byelection began on Wednesday morning.
As per reports, Bahuguna defeated his BJP rival by a margin of nearly 39,900 votes.
Bahuguna had maintained a comfortable lead against BJP’s Prakash Pant after ever since the counting began.
Sitarganj by-election was held on July 8 to decide the fate of the chief minister, who must win this election to continue in office.
The by-election was necessitated after BJP MLA Kiran Mandal quit in favour of Bahuguna.
The counting of votes for Sitarganj by-election began at 0800 hours at Rudrapur, the district headquarters of Udhamsingh Nagar district.
Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi said, “The result of the byelection is expected to be declared by afternoon.”
Prakash Pant, the BJP candidate from Sitarganj had yesterday formally lodged a complaint with the EC seeking an inquiry into the "bogus" voting and had sought withholding of the counting process till the completion of inquiry.
Following the complaint, the EC had ordered the District Magistrate of Udhamsingh Nagar to hold an inquiry into allegations by Pant.
"We have asked the Udhamsingh Nagar District Magistrate to inquire about the alleged bogus voting in Sitarganj as being reported in the media. We have also asked the DM to inquire as to whether an Uttar Pradesh MLA also voted yesterday in Sitarganj," said Raturi.
In his complaint, Pant said, "in the entire election process at Sitarganj, the state government has violated the election commission norms. Looking at the seriousness of the matter, the nomination of Vijay Bahuguna, a Congress candidate, should be cancelled and a detailed inquiry should be ordered".
Pant also alleged that Samajwadi Party MLA from Uttar Pradesh Prem Prakash Singh, who represents Barhaj seat of Devaria district, has cast his vote in Sitarganj in gross violations of the election norms.
With PTI Inputs