Hemant Karkare’s Aide Polls 1,251 Votes Against Pragya Thakur in Bhopal, Loses Security Deposit
That his decision to enter the poll fray was more of an emotional outburst was revealed from the fact that Riyazuddin Deshmukh, after filing his nomination, never campaigned for himself in Bhopal.
BJP candidate Pragya Singh Thakur collects her victory certificate after declaration of result for the Lok Sabha election in Bhopal. (PTI)
Bhopal: Former police officer Riyazuddin Deshmukh who contested the Lok Sabha election in Bhopal against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Pragya Singh Thakur has managed to garner only 1,251 votes and lost his security deposit.
However, Deshmukh wasn’t alone in this category. Another 27 Lok Sabha aspirants from the seat lost their money as none of them could secure even 1% vote in the polling that Thakur won with over 8.6 lakh votes.
Deshmukh, who had served as a subordinate to late Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, landed in Bhopal in April last week to file his nomination after being ‘deeply hurt’ by Thakur’s remarks against Karkare and wanted to electorally fight against the Malegaon blast accused.
Soon after being nominated from the seat, Thakur, who had been in Karkare’s custody over her alleged links in the Malegaon blast in 2008, said the latter had meted out the worst-possible torture on her while in prison and it was her curse that led to Karkare’s death in the Mumbai terror attack.
That his decision to enter the poll fray was more of an emotional outburst was revealed from the fact that Deshmukh, after filing his nomination, never campaigned for himself in Bhopal.
Thakur defeated her key opponent, Congress veteran and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, by 3,64,822 votes.
While Thakur polled 66.54% votes, Singh’s share was 35.63%.
The sweeping win holds significance for Thakur, out on bail, as she had started her campaign with the ‘terrorist’ tag over the Malegaon blast case and had made several controversial statements.
Madho Singh Ahirwar of the BSP is the only notable opponent, besides Thakur and Singh, to have garnered a decent number of votes (11,250) in the highly polarised election.
A Lok Sabha candidate is required to deposit Rs 25,000 as deposit, while filing nomination and stands to lose it if he/she fails secure at least one-sixth (16.66%) of the total valid votes polled in the any particular election.
Deshmukh, who calls Karkare his idol, retired as assistant commissioner of police in Amravati, Maharashtra, in 2016.
Veena Ghanekar, a retired IAS officer fielded by Samanya Alpsankhyak Pichhra Kalyan Samaj (SAPAKS), secured only 3,264 votes.
Ghanekar had pinned hopes on general category government employees and raked up the issue of reservation during campaigning.
The Madhya Pradesh government, under Shivraj Singh Chouhan, had offered reservation in promotion of government staff, which was challenged in the court by SAPAKS, representing unreserved categories.
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