Major humiliating defeat of Congress candidate in MLC elections

Interestingly, the Congress party's three votes were cross-voted in this election.
Congress Flag (Photo | PTI)
Congress Flag (Photo | PTI)

MUMBAI: Major set back to Maha Vikas Aghadi in the biennial elections of the Maharashtra state legislative council on Monday.

The BJP won all five seats while Maha Vikas Aghadi won the five seats and lost one against the BJP in this election in Maharashtra.

In this MLC election, the BJP secured 134 first preference votes against 123 votes in the recent Rajya Sabha elections. This is inch closure to house majority of 145 votes in Maharashtra state assembly. The election result also shows that there is a massive shift in the votes of Maha Vikas Aghadi to the BJP. The 20 votes of Maha Vikas Aghadi cross-voted to the BJP in MLC elections that includes three votes of the Congress, three Shiv Sena MLAs, a smaller and independent MLAs that were earlier part of Maha Vikas Aghadi.

"This is a big victory for the BJP," said the leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis.

In this election, BJP's five candidates including Pravin Darekar, Ram Shinde, Uma Khapre, Shrikant Bhartiya and Prasad Lad won the MLC elections while NCPs two candidates Eknath Khadse and Ramraje Nimbalkar won. Congress candidate Bhai Jagtap won the elections in the third round on third preference votes but another Congress candidate Chandrakant Handore lost it against Bhai Jagtap in the third round. BJP's candidate Prasad Lad won in the second round of counting late Monday night.

Interestingly, the Congress party's three votes were cross-voted in this election. Out of a total of 44 votes, both Congress candidates for 41 votes as first preference. These votes include 22 votes for Chandrakant Handore and 20 votes for Bhai Jagtap. NCP had 51 total votes but secured 57 in MLC elections. It’s one vote that got disqualified during counting due to overwriting the reference numbers. Shiv Sena supported four votes and was also cross-voted in this election. Shiv Sena had 56 MLAs plus the support of six independent MLAs, despite its candidate Sachin Ahir and Ameshya Padvi getting 26 each vote only.

Congress minister Balasaheb Thorat said that the results are very shocking for them. He said that they will not blame Maha Vikas Aghadi for the loss of its candidate Chandrakant Handore. He said it was Congress's responsibility only to keep all MLAs together and get their votes. “If we could not get all 44 votes, then there is no point in blaming others. But as Maha Vikas Aghadi, we also need to think why we lost the one seat in Rajya Sabha elections and one seat MLC elections also,” Thorat said.

After unexpected results, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked all MLAs not to leave Mumbai and called an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss the MLC elections result.

Earlier in the day, the counting was delayed twice — once by Congress demanding disqualification of two BJP MLAs votes Mukta Tilak and Laxman Jagtap for taking help to cast the votes and dropping the ballot paper in the ballot drop box. Congress alleged violations of the elections code of conduct.

After the voting, in the scrutiny process, BJP leader Ashish Shelar demanded disqualification of one NCP vote citing overwriting of preference numbers. NCP also demanded disqualification of BJP’s one vote for the same reasons. Later returning officer disqualified both the votes.

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