Bhopal: Devti Karma of the Congress was declared winner of the Maoist-affected Dantewada Assembly seat on Friday. She defeated her nearest opponent, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Ojaswi Mandavi, by 11,191 votes. The constituency saw a bypoll after BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed in an IED blast triggered by Left-wing ultras in April this year.
Karma, wife of late Congress leader Mahendra Karma who was known as ‘Tiger of Bastar’, polled 50,028 votes, while Ojaswi, wife of the late BJP MLA, received 38,836 votes. Karma, a housewife till her husband was killed by Maoists in 2013, had gained a lead over her opponent since the outset as counting began on Friday morning.
The Communist Party of India (CPI)’s Bhimsen Mandavi finished third with over 7,000 votes while NOTA got 5,779 votes. Congress workers burst into celebrations soon after Karma got a decisive lead over her opponent.
Former chief minister Raman Singh, while congratulating Karma for her win, said the administration was biased towards the Congress nominee. He added that the BJP would contest Chitrakot Assembly bypoll with more vigour. “The Congress has claimed our seat (Dantewada), now we would take its seat (Chitrakoot),” he said.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said Singh had a tendency of making such comments. “The BJP tried hard, but could not win,” he said. Baghel congratulated Karma and expressed his gratitude to voters for reposing faith in the Congress.