MUMBAI: While winning a municipal bypoll in Mumbai on Friday, the Shiv Sena also sought to needle the BJP over its defeat in Nagpur ZP, calling it 'sensational'.
Shiv Sena candidate Vithhal Lokare on Friday defeated his nearest rival, Bablu Panchal of the BJP, by a margin of 1,385 votes in suburban Mankhud as ward no 141 of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) went for a byelection.
Polling in the ward took place on Thursday and votes were counted on Friday. Lokare secured 4,427 votes, while the BJP candidate got 3,042. A total of 18 candidates were in the fray in the ward where the by-poll was necessitated after Lokare, who was the sitting Congress corporator, resigned and joined the Shiv Sena in August 2019.
Lokare had contested the assembly polls in October from the Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar constituency on a Sena ticket but lost to Samajwadi legislator Abu Azmi by a margin of 25,000 votes.
The BJP and the Shiv Sena are pitted against each other in the BMC after a bitterly fought contest in 2017 when none of them could get a simple majority and the Shiv Sena won only a few seats more than the BJP.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ termed the BJP’s ousting by the Congress in Nagpur Zilla Parishad (ZP) as “sensational and shocking”.
Results for six ZPs (332 seats) and 13 Panchayat Samitis (664 seats) were announced on Wednesday. Though the BJP turned out to be the largest seat getter in these polls, it lost the Nagpur ZP that it controlled all along.
Except Dhule, the BJP suffered defeats in the remaining five district councils, said the editorial adding that the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) fared “very well” in these districts.
The editorial said the BJP's defeat in the home turf of Fadnavis, a former chief minister, and Gadkari, a Union minister, was “sensational and shocking” and the outcome shows the rural population was “fed up” with the party.
“The Congress had performed well in the assembly elections in Nagpur (held in October) and now it has wrested the district council from the BJP,” the Sena mouthpiece said.
The paper also said that in Nandurbar and elsewhere, if the Congress had fought the polls in alliance with the Shiv Sena, the BJP would have been “finished”.