Shiv Sena candidate Kalaben Delkar on Tuesday won the by-election to the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha seat with a comfortable margin of 51,269 votes, EC officials said.
While Kalaben Delkar (50), wife of former independent MP Mohan Delkar whose death necessitated the bypoll, garnered 1,18,035 votes, her closest rival, BJP's Mahesh Gavit, bagged 66,766 votes. Congress candidate Mahesh Dhodi finished third with 6,150 votes.
Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray congratulated Delkar via Twitter saying, "Heartiest congratulations to Smt Kalaben Delkar ji, @ShivSena’s newly elected Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha from Dadra & Nagar Haveli. I humbly thank all the karyakartas for their efforts and the citizens for their faith to ensure this huge win.
The Congress and the Shiv Sena are ruling allies in Maharashtra, but they fought the bypoll separately.
Voting in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved parliamentary seat took place on October 30 and counting was taken up on Tuesday morning.
Counting of votes was held in Silvassa city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli district, which is part of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of sitting MP Mohan Delkar, who won as an independent in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by defeating then-sitting BJP MP Natubhai Patel by a thin margin of 9,001 votes
Mohan Delkar's suicide
On February 22, Delkar allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at a hotel in Marine Drive area of Mumbai. He had been a member of both the Congress and the BJP at different times of his political career, and was elected seven times to the Lok Sabha from the Dadra and Nagar Haveli constituency.
Making an emotional appeal to the voters during her poll campaign, Kalaben Delkar said, "They compelled him to commit suicide, it was no less than a murder of a popular leader. We have to punish his murderers. The fight is for our justice. If we do not fight now, then even the god wil not pardon us. I have shed enough tears, but now is not time to shed tears but to give them resounding reply." "This is the first time that I have come before you without Mohanbhai. I assure you that I will be strong enough to not give you any scope for complaint. Mohanbhai won for seven terms because of the love of the people and his ideals. I will carry forward the same ideology that made him such a popular leader," she said.
Delkar had won the 2019 Lok Sabha election by defeating the then sitting BJP MP Natubhai Patel by a margin of 9,001 votes. Patel had twice defeated Delkar, in 2009 and 2014, when the latter had contested on the Congress ticket.
In March, the Mumbai police had registered an FIR on the charge of abetment to suicide in connection with Delkar's death on the basis of a suicide not recovered form his possession with some names. Delkar's wife and son had also met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in this connection.
(With PTI inputs)
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