Mumbai, Dec 14: In a jolt to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party won four of the six seats in the state legislative council, including Nagpur, and wrested the Akola-Buldhana-Washim seat from the Shiv Sena.
Reacting to the BJP’s victory, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP has busted the MVA’s myth that the three parties (Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress) can win every election in the state by contesting together. The Election Commission had announced polling to six seats to the Maharashtra legislative council from five local constituencies on December 10.
In the election for two seats in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Shiv Sena (Sunil Shinde) and the BJP (Rajhans Singh) bagged one seat each unopposed. In the Kolhapur and Nandurbar-Dhule MLC polls also, the Congress and the BJP respectively secured one seat each unopposed.
Polling to the Nagpur and Akola-Buldhana-Washim seats was held on December 10.
According to the district information office, in Nagpur, of the 554 votes polled, BJP candidate and former state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule secured 362 votes, while Mangesh Deshmukh, the independent candidate who was supported by the MVA, got 186 votes.
On the eve of polling, the Congress nominee, Ravindra Bhoyar, had expressed his inability to contest, following which the party backed Deshmukh.
However, Bhoyar later contested the poll and got only one vote.
In a major upset, Shiv Sena’s three-time MLC Gopikishan Bajoria was defeated by the BJP’s Vasant Khandelwal in Akola-Washim-Buldhana. Of the total 808 votes, Khandelwal bagged 443 votes while Bajoria secured 334.
“The MVA was claiming that they will win all the elections as three parties have come together. We have busted this myth and I feel that this victory has laid the foundation for our future wins,” Fadnavis said.
Khandelwal attributed his victory to the successful strategy of his party.
Speaking to reporters, Bawankule said the MVA had 240 votes. However, the MVA-supported candidate only got 186 votes.
Bawankule attacked Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole and accused him of behaving in an autocratic manner and demanded his resignation. He said the Congress should introspect why their votes got split.
“For two days, they indulged in horse trading, even then they could not keep their party together. This is in real sense the defeat of Congress leaders. The Congress leaders were behaving in an autocratic manner. Nana Patole is not suitable to work as the (state) party chief and he should resign,” he said.
The state BJP also dared the MVA to hold the election for the post of assembly speaker through secret ballot and indicated that the BJP will win it.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Tuesday said the Congress played “childish games” during the election of the Nagpur MLC seat by poaching BJP’s corporator Ravindra Bhoyar and offering him a ticket.
Bhoyar withdrew on the eve of the polls.
“I challenge the MVA to hold the election for the post of legislative assembly speaker through secret ballot instead of by raising hands. And you will come to know who becomes the speaker,” he said.
The winter session of the Maharashtra legislature is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from December 22 to 28.
The post of assembly speaker has been lying vacant after Patole resigned to head the Maharashtra Congress.