Maharashtra Legislative Council: BJP, Shiv Sena add their tally by 1, Lok Bharti retains seat
BJP won Konkan division Graduates constituency in a tough fight against Shiv Sena, while the Sena retained the Mumbai division Graduates constituency and won Nashik division Teachers constituency.
MUMBAI: The BJP and the Shiv Sena managed to add to their tally of the legislative council by one while the Lok Bharti managed to retain their Mumbai Teachers' constituency. BJP won Konkan division Graduates constituency in a tough fight against Shiv Sena, while the Shiv Sena retained the Mumbai division Graduates constituency and won Nashik division Teachers constituency.
This is a loss to the NCP as the party had won the Konkan division Graduates constituency and the Nashik division Teachers constituency last time. It is a loss of two for them. The BJP's strength in the legislative council has now gone up to 19, while the Shiv Sena is 12. The NCP with 20 members is still the largest party in the 78-member house where the Congress has 18 members.
The counting of votes for the Konkan division Graduates constituency that began at Nerul in Navi Mumbai took just around 23 hours to conclude. Though the BJP managed to win a seat, it got a bloody nose due to its ally Shiv Sena in these elections. BJP was expecting to win three - both in Mumbai and the Konkan seat - of the total four seats. But, the tough fight from the Shiv Sena confined them only to one seat.
Shiv Sena-supported independent candidate Kishor Darade won the Nashik Teachers Division seat where the BJP candidate Aniket Patil came to the third position, while Shiv Sena's Vilas Potnis retained the Mumbai Graduates constituency defeating his nearest BJP rival Ameetkumar Mehta by a huge margin of 11,562 votes. Potnis polled 19,354 votes, whereas Mehta polled just 7,792 votes, out of the total 33,818 valid votes polled.
Shiv Sena's Sanjay More too gave a tough fight to BJP's imported candidate Niranjan Davkhare in the Konkan division Graduates constituency. While Davkhare got 29,035 votes, More secured 23,257 of the total 70,285 valid votes. Since none of the candidates could get to the mark of around 32,000 votes, the counting had to go in for the second and third rounds delaying the announcement of results. In Mumbai division Teachers constituency, sitting Lok Bharati MLC Kapil Patil defeated his nearest Shiv Sena rival Shivaji Shendge by a margin of 2,213 votes. Patil secured 3,751 votes while Shendge had polled 1,544 votes. BJP's Anil Deshmukh had polled 1,095 votes.
With these results, the BJP has managed to increase its strength by one. The term of 11 members of the legislative council is ending next month on July 27. Since the legislative assembly members are the electorate for these seats, the BJP is expecting to win four out of these 11 seats and be the largest party in the upper house.