The Maharashtra Legislative council elections did not rule in favour of BJP when the results were announced on Friday, winning only one seat of the six seats that went to poll. The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, won four seats. While NCP and Congress each won two seats, one seat went to Independent candidates.
The polls for six seats – three graduates’ constituencies (Nagpur, Pune and Aurangabad), two teachers’ constituencies (Pune and Amravati) and one local body (Dhule-Nandurbar) had taken place on December 1. Votes were counted on December 3.
The electoral outcome in Nagpur, where BJP’s Sandip Joshi was defeated by Congress’ Abhijit Wanjari, came as a jolt to the party. The Congress won the seat from the BJP after 55 years. Wanjari polled 61,701 votes while Joshi got 42,791 votes.
Gangadhar Fadnavis, father of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, represented the seat in the past.
The Pune graduates’ constituency seat went to the NCP. The BJP candidate, Sangram Deshmukh, got 73,321 votes against NCP’s Arun Lad, who bagged 12,2145 votes. The seat had been vacated by BJP state unit president Chandrakant Patil.
The third graduates’ constituency, Aurangabad, saw NCP’s sitting member Satish Chavan trouncing BJP’s Shirish Boralkar.
While NCP won from two graduates’ constituencies, Congress won from one.
In Amravati teachers’ constituency, BJP’s Dr Nitin Dhande lost to Independent candidate Kiran Sarnaik.
The Pune teachers’ constituency was bagged by Congress’ Jayant Asgaonkar. Here, the BJP had supported Independent candidate Jitendra Pawar, who lost.
Former Congress leader Amarish Patel, who had joined BJP last year ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls, won from his home turf Dhule- Nundarbur.
The elections assumed significance, as it was first test post formation of the Maha Vikas Aghadi. It almost marked the completion of one year of the Uddhav Thackeray government.
BJP insiders conceded that upcoming elections – from BMC to gram panchayat and zilla parishads over the next two to three years – are going to be a major challenge if Congress, NCP and Sena contest together. However, if they contest separately, the BJP believes it will still be the frontrunner.