IMPHAL, May 25 : Yet another feather was added to the cap of the BJP with K Bhabananda, the nominee of the BJP and its allies, romping home in the by election held to the lone Rajya Sabha seat defeating Congress nominee E Dwijamani by 18 votes in the House of 60.
By election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat was necessitated by the demise of the then sitting Rajya Sabha MP of the Congress Abdul Salam on February 28 this year.
Voting started at the Assembly Committee room of the Assembly from 9 am and though 4 pm was officially the time set for the voting to end, all the MLAs had cast their vote by 2.30 pm today.
One polling agent each of five political parties were seated in the polling booth. The political parties which stationed their polling agent at the polling booth were BJP, NPF, NPP, LJP, Congress.
Ballot papers were used in the polling and all the MLAs showed that they had voted for the candidate of their party to the polling agents before putting it inside the ballot box.
The party wise strength of the BJP led Government, are, BJP-21, NPP-4, NPF-4, LJP-1, Trinamool Congress-1, Independent-1.
On top of this, 6 Congress MLAs had earlier switched sides to the BJP, taking the total number of MLAs supporting the BJP led coalition Government to 38, leaving the Congress with just 22 of the 28 elected MLAs. Counting of votes winded up by 5 pm and BJP nominee and State BJP president K Bhabananda romped home defeating his Congress rival by 18 votes.
Bhabananda received 39 votes in his favour while the Congress nominee won 21 votes. One Congress MLA cross voted. With the win, K Bhabananda broke the monopoly of the Congress on the Rajya Sabha in Manipur, wherein its candidates had won the said seat thrice without any contest.
A jubilant Bhabananda, after getting his election certificate, acknowledged the trust and confidence reposed in by him by the elected representatives of the people as well as the Central leadership of the party. He assured that he would not betray the trust of the people. Bhabananda said that he would take all the pressing issues of the State for discussion in the Rajya Sabha and added that he will continue with the post of State BJP president as long as the Central leaders want.
Source: The Sangai Express