MUMBAI:In what was billed as a battle between the Munde cousins, BJP candidate Suresh Dhas, on Tuesday, won the Osmanabad-Beed-Latur seat to enter the Maharashtra Legislative Council.
The electoral contest had turned into a prestige battle between BJP leader and Maharashtra Women and Child Welfare minister Pankaja Munde and her cousin NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Council.
The showdown saw BJP’s Suresh Dhas take on Ashok Jagdale, an Independent candidate. The NCP had fielded Ramesh Karad, a former BJP worker and a close associate of Pankaja Munde, but he withdrew his nomination on the last day.
While Jagdale managed to get 452 out of 1,003 valid votes, Dhas got 526. After the poll result was out, Dhananjay Munde told the media that he accepted “full responsibility for the defeat”. Jagdale accused the opposition Congress
While the polls for six seats of Legislative Council were held on May 21 and the results were declared on May 24, the counting for this seat was withheld by the Election Commission (EC) due to court cases by 10 corporators from Beed, who were disqualified but had participated in the electoral process.
The court had last week directed the EC to conduct counting and declare results.
The BJP had been unsuccessfully contesting the seat traditionally against the Congress. However, the NCP took it from the Congress under contention that while the BJP has increased its power in three municipal bodies and even won the Latur Municipal Corporation from the Congress, the NCP, with Dhananjay
Munde as its leader, is in a better position to win the seat. However, with Karad ditching the NCP at the last moment, the party had already lost the battle giving a big blow to Dhananjay Munde.
Boost for pankaja
Dhananjay Munde of NCP is at loggerheads with his estranged cousin Pankaja Munde
Dhananjay, mentored by Gopinath Munde, turned bitter after his late uncle chose daughter Pankaja in 2009 Assembly polls