MUMBAI: In a setback to the NCP, the party turncoat and BJP nominee Suresh Dhas today won the Maharashtra Legislative Council election from the Osmanabad-Beed-Latur local bodies seat.
The former Maharashtra minister defeated NCP-backed Ashok Jagdale by a margin of 76 votes, an election official said.
Dhas' victory is seen as a jolt to Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde (NCP) who is at loggerheads with his estranged cousin sister and BJP minister Pankaja Munde.
Of the 1003 votes polled, Dhas got 527 votes, while Jagdale polled 451 votes, an official release said.
Altogether 25 votes were declared invalid, while a voter opted for the None of the Above (NOTA) option.
The quota of votes required for win was 490 votes.
Interestingly, out of the total 1,005 votes, the BJP and Shiv Sena collectively had just 367 votes whereas the NCP and the Congress had 527 votes while the MIM and others had 92 votes.
The difference between the votes polled by Dhas and Jagdale indicates that 76 corporators had cross-voted in Dhas' favour.
"Some wearing the watch on their hands have cross-voted for me," Dhas said alluding to the election symbols of the Congress (Hand) and the NCP (clock).
Dhananjay Munde alleged the BJP used all possible means and government machinery to ensure victory of its candidate.
Counting of votes was held today for the seat, where biennial elections, along with five other Legislative Council seats, were held on May 21.
While counting of votes for those five seats was held on May 24, the process for Osmanabad-Beed-Latur local bodies seat was deferred due to a court order on suspension of some local bodies members in Beed district.
In the results declared for the five local body seats on May 24, the BJP and the Shiv Sena had won two seats each, while the NCP retained one.
The ruling BJP and the Shiv Sena had contested the polls in alliance.
The opposition Congress and the NCP had also tied-up for the biennial polls.
Apart from Amravati, the BJP bagged Wardha-Chandrapur- Gadchiroli local bodies seat.
The Shiv Sena won the Nashik and Parbhani-Hingoli local bodies seats.
The NCP retained the Raigad-Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat but lost the Nashik seat to the Sena.
The Congress fared poorly in all the three seats it contested -- Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadhchiroli, Parbhani-Hingoli and Amravati.
With today's result, the BJP's tally in the 78-member Upper House has increased to 19, while the NCP's tally is 21.
Congress has 17 and Shiv Sena 11 members in the House.
The JD (U) and PRP have one member each while there are six Independents 6.
The BJP would stake claim to the post of deputy chairman of the Upper House as it has two more members than the Congress, a party leader said.