Mumbai/Nagpur, May 31 (IANS) The candidate of Maharashtra’s ruling BJP was trailing by nearly 20,000 votes behind his NCP rival in the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency as counting progressed in the May 28 Lok Sabha bypolls here on Thursday.
In the available vote-count figures at 3 p.m. in Bhandara-Gondiya, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hemant Patle, who was leading in the earlier rounds of counting, suddenly fell behind, lagging at around 188,000 votes, while the Nationalist Congress Party’s Madhukar Kukde remained ahead with a tally of over 208,000 votes.
Polling in the constituency, where the bypoll was necessitated by resignation of sitting BJP MP Nana Patole who subsequently joined the Congress, were marred by large-scale incidents of malfunctioning EVM-VVPATs with all the opposition parties and ruling ally Shiv Sena hurling allegations of foul play and tampering of the machines.
On Tuesday, the EC ordered a repoll in 49 polling stations across five Assembly segments in Bhandara-Gondiya.
Earlier this afternoon, the BJP retained the high-stakes Palghar LS seat when its candidate Rajendra Gavit trounced his nearest Shiv Sena rival Shriniwas Vanga.