MVA likely to win 3 out of 5 council seats; BJP manages to bag 1
The MVA candidate was declared elected in the Nagpur graduates’ constituency and appeared to be winning in the Aurangabad teachers’ constituency and Amravati graduates’ constituency. The BJP won only one seat — the Konkan teachers’ constituency while the Nashik graduates’ constituency went to Tambe, who won the polls by a margin of 29,465 votes against MVA candidate Shubhangi Patil. Tambe secured 68,999 votes
Opposition coalition Maharashtra Vikas Agadhi (MVA) on Thursday appeared to be winning three out of five legislative council seats while the BJP, in a grave setback, could lose two seats in deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ backyard. The party managed to win one seat while Congress rebel and independent candidate Satyajeet Tambe won the Nashik seat.
The MVA candidate was declared elected in the Nagpur graduates’ constituency and appeared to be winning in the Aurangabad teachers’ constituency and Amravati graduates’ constituency. The BJP won only one seat — the Konkan teachers’ constituency while the Nashik graduates’ constituency went to Tambe, who won the polls by a margin of 29,465 votes against MVA candidate Shubhangi Patil. Tambe secured 68,999 votes.
In four constituencies, it was a direct fight between the MVA and ruling BJP-BSS alliance. The Congress fielded its candidate in Nagpur and supported a candidate in Amravati while the NCP fielded its sitting legislator in Aurangabad. Till Thursday night, the Election Commission had declared results of only three seats - Nagpur, Konkan and Nashik.
The ruling BJP received a shock after losing the Nagpur teachers’ constituency to MVA candidate Sudhakar Adbale (Congress) who defeated rival Nagorao Ganar by a margin of 8,489 votes. The constituency has traditionally been with the BJP—Nagpur is considered a BJP bastion and is also the hometown of deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Adbale got 16,700 votes in the polls, state the figures released by the Election Commission.
The caste equation played a key role in Nagpur constituency, as a clear divide was seen between the Telis and Kunbis who are both OBC communities. A senior BJP leader maintained that the Telis did not support Ganar, who comes from the Kunbi community. “The anti-incumbency also went against the two-term legislator,” he admitted.
This is the second council seat lost by the BJP in Nagpur within a span of two years. The party had suffered a setback in December 2020 after Congress candidate Abhijit Wanjari won the Nagpur graduates’ constituency by defeating Sandeep Joshi, former Nagpur mayor and a close aide of Fadnavis. In the past, the constituency has been represented by Union minister Nitin Gadkari as well as former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ father, the late Gangadharrao Fadnavis.
In neighbouring Amravati, former Maharashtra minister and sitting legislator Ranjit Patil (BJP) was trailing behind his nearest rival, the MVA-backed candidate Dheeraj Lingade, by a margin of 2,278 votes at the end of the day’s counting. Langmade got 43,383 votes while Patil bagged 41,005 votes. Over 6,000 votes were invalid, and Patil insisted on recounting those invalid votes at the end of counting.
In Aurangabad teachers’ constituency, the NCP’s sitting legislator Vikram Kale was ahead of the BJP’s Kiran Patil by around 7,000 votes. He got 20,078 votes of first preference while Patil secured 13,489 votes. The counting for the seat was still in progress. Kale is a two-term MLC from the state and likely to register his third victory in the polls.
Hours before the results were declared, Tambe tweeted, “We are close to registering a win but we will not be celebrating it, as I have lost a close friend Manas Pagar (in a road accident). I urge all supporters to exercise restraint and I will be meeting all between February 3 and 7.” The BJP is believed to have supported Tambe in the prestige fight against the MVA.
The first victory of the day was bagged by the BJP. Its candidate Dynaneshwar Mhatre won the Konkan teachers’ constituency by a margin of 9,686 votes against Balaram Patil, Peasant and Workers Party nominee backed by the MVA. Mhatre secured 20,683 votes against the PWP legislator who is set to retire on February 7. “There are many issues such as the old pension scheme and those related to non-teaching staff,” he said. “I intend to resolve them in the days to come.”
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray said the election results clearly showed that people were in the MVA’s favour. “I dare the Shinde-Fadnavis government to hold local body elections,” he said.
With inputs from G. Mohiuddin Jeddy, Saurabha Kulshreshtha