Thursday, January 3, 2008

Balliia elects Chandra Shekhar's son

Riding on the sympathy wave over the death of his father and Chandra Shekhar, former prime minister, Neeraj Shekhar, the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate won the Ballia Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 1,31,286 votes. In the 2004 general elections, Chandra Shekhar had won by a margin of 80,951 votes.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Vinay Shankar Tiwari, who was being packaged and promoted as an influential Brahmin leader. Vinay Shankar Tiwari is the son of strongman and former minister Hari Shankar Tiwari, regarded by many as having sizeable influence among the Brahmin community of eastern UP. The BSP had hoped of bagging the Ballia by-polls with the combination of the Dalit-Brahmin votes. The BJP and the Congress could only manage 4.20% and 1.99% votes respectively.

The polls to Ballia were fought in the backdrop of the demise of former PM Chandra Shekhar.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) supported the Samajwadi Party candidate. Over 40 per cent electorate today cast their votes in the the Ballia Lok Sabha by-poll without any untoward incident.

BSP had won three of the five assembly seats in the district barely seven months back.

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