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Bypoll Results: Chhattisgarh's Naxal-Affected Chitrakot Begins Counting of Votes

Representative Image. (PTI)

Representative Image. (PTI)

Chitrakot is a Naxal-affected seat reserved for ST candidates, where Lachhuram Kashyap of the BJP was up against the now-victorious Rajman Benzam of Congress.

Raipur, Oct 24: The ruling Congress won the Chitrakot Assembly bypoll in Chhattisgarh on Thursday, poll officials said. Congress' Rajman Benzam won the bypoll from the naxal affected constituency, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, by a margin of 17,862 votes against Lachhuram Kashyap of the BJP. Benzam polled 62,097 votes while Kashyap secured 44,235 votes.

Voting for the bypoll was held on October 21. The voter turnout was 78.12 per cent. The bypoll to Chitrakot was necessitated after Congress MLA Deepak Baij got elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar. Last month the BJP had lost Dantewada assembly bypoll to the Congress. It took the saffron party's strength in the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly to 14, while the ruling Congress' numbers went up to 69.

Counting of votes for Chitrakot Assembly by-poll in Chhattisgarh began on Thursday morning amid tight security. Both the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in the state were eyeing a victory in the Naxal-affected seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. Counting began at 8AM at Women Polytechnic College, Dharampura, at the Bastar district headquarters of Jagdalpur, a poll official said.

The main contest of this constituency was between Benzam and Kashyap. In the 2018 Assembly elections, Congress' Deepak Baij defeated BJP's Kashyap from the constituency by a margin of 17,770 votes. In the 90-member House, the Congress then won 68 seats and the BJP, 15. The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) and the BSP had bagged five and two seats, respectively.