In a major setback to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, BJP candidate Bhimrao Tapkir today won the Khadakwasala assembly bypoll in Pune district, defeating NCP candidate Harshada Wanjale.

Tapkir won by the margin of 3,625 votes, defeating Harshada, widow of MNS legislator Ramesh Wanjale, whose death necessitated the bypoll, which was held on October 13.

Mr. Ajit Pawar was instrumental in bringing Harshada Wanjale to NCP fold a day ahead of the bypoll.

The byelection was a matter of prestige for Ajit Pawar, as he wields sway over local civic bodies in Pune.

Reacting to BJP’s victory, Shiv Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said, “It is not only the defeat of Congress-NCP alone, but also the defeat of Ajit Pawar.”

RPI leader Ramdas Athawale said that the victory of the BJP candidate is the result of his party’s alliance with the Shiv Sena-BJP combine.