MUMBAI: Anti-BJP unity has emerged the key after results of the Lok Sabha by elections in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia constituencies of Maharashtra on Wednesday. Statements of the prominent leaders in the state underline the point.
The BJP won with a margin of just under 30,000 votes against the Shiv Sena in Palghar. Here the Congress that had severed ties with the local party Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) could fetch only 47,714 votes compared to over two lakh votes of each of the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the BVA candidates.
In Bhadara-Gondia, where the Congress party cadre stood united with the NCP, the NCP gained comfortable majority of over 30,000 votes that the nearest contestant of the BJP. Division of opposition votes remained minimal in the constituency.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar underlined the fact while giving credit to former BJP MP from the seat Nana Patole who joined the Congress necessitating the by election. “Modi wave has receded and people want us to remain together. The mandate is to the united force against the BJP,” Pawar said while speaking to the Media.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik took the point further. “We wanted the Congress to support the BVA in Palghar. Had that happened, the BJP wouldn’t have won the Palghar seat either,” Malik said while speaking at a press conference after the results.
Malik also blamed the BJP for misusing power to win the election in Palghar.
“The BJP has realised that if Shiv Sena dumps them they will have to sit in the opposition,” Pawar added.
Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray too raised the same issue while addressing the media after the results were announced and appealed all parties to boycott elections.
Thackeray, who refused to accept the result, pointed out that in Palghar (ST) constituency more than six lakh out of the eight lakh voters have rejected the BJP.
“When the BJP came to power in 2014, all felt that the BJP would stay in power for the next 25 years. However, in past four years they have lost most of the by polls reducing them to a minority now,” the Shiv Sena President said while underlining that apart from one Lok Sabha and one Assembly seat, the BJP has lost elections in nine other constituencies across the country. He also sarcastically remarked that after coming to power with a majority, they (BJP) started behaving like they don’t need friends.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, too addressed the issue, but from different perspective.
“The elections have underlined the fact that the friends should not fight like this,” Fadnavis said while replying to a question on Shiv Sena. “BJP has always spoke in favour of the alliance. But, the Shiv Sena too shall have decide now,” he added.