On Thursday, the BJP won the Dhule-Nadurbar local bodies MLC seat in the bypoll that was necessitated after sitting MLC Amrishbhai Patel left the Congress and joined BJP. However, it suffered a major setback in other five MLC seats in the state, including Pune and Nagpur graduate constituencies, a traditional seat for the BJP.
The Maharashtra Legislative Council has strength of 78, out of which the elections took place on six seats on Tuesday and counting is underway till late night. The seats include the Pune Division Graduates’ constituency, Nagpur Division Graduates’ constituency, Aurangabad Division Graduates’ constituency, Amravati Division Teachers’ constituency, Pune Division Teachers’ constituency and Dhule-Nandurbar Local Bodies’ constituency.
On October 1, 2019, Amrishbhai Patel left the Congress and in the bypolls he was in a direct fight against Congress’ Abhijit Patil. Patel has now won the seat keeping up his record of never losing any election.
However, barring one, the Amravati Teachers’ constituency, the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi candidates are leading over their nearest BJP nominees. In Amravati teachers constituency, the independent candidate, Kiran Sarnaik is leading over his nearest Sena rival, the sitting MLC, Srikant Deshpande.
BJP which has retained the graduate’s constituency seat of Nagpur division since its inception virtually lost it on Thursday to Abhijit Wanjari of the Congress. Here Wanjari is leading over 10,000 votes to its nearest rival Sandip Joshi of the BJP in second round of counting. Interestingly, Joshi is a close lieutenant of former chief minister and leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis. Moreover, Fadnavis was camping in Nagpur for a week for campaigning for Joshi as it’s a prestige seat for him.
The graduate’s constituency seat was once held by Fadnavis’s father, late Gangadhar Fadnavis and later it was represented by union minister for transport Nitin Gadkari for five times from 1989 Joshi’s defeat is being viewed as a personal setback for Fadnavis and Gadkari.
In Amravati teacher’s constituency, independent candidate Kiran Sarnaik of Washim was ahead of his nearest rivals Srikant Deshpande of Shiv Sena and Dr Nitin Dhande of the BJP by a comfortably majority of around 4,500 votes. Sarnaik is likely to wrest the seat from the Sena. Counting of votes in both the constituencies are on still late night.