AIMIM makes inroads in north Maharashtra

BJP-Sena retain most seats in region

Published - October 25, 2019 01:30 am IST - Mumbai

Sea of supporters:  NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal celebrates his win in Yevla.

Sea of supporters: NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal celebrates his win in Yevla.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena retained most of their seats in north Maharashtra, with a few notable exceptions. But the alliance’s win in 19 of the 36 seats in the region fell short of its 2014 tally by three seats.

One of the biggest upsets for the BJP was in Muktainagar in Jalgaon where Rohini Khadse, daughter of veteran leader Eknath Khadse, lost to Chandrakant N. Patil, an Independent, by a margin of 1,957 votes. One of the strongest OBC leaders in the State, Mr. Khadse, who won the seat for six consecutive terms, was denied a ticket this time due to his alleged involvement in a land scam. He was the revenue minister in the Cabinet, before being forced to quit. The BJP also lost its seats in Dhule city, Malkapur and Raver.

Meanwhile, in an otherwise successful election for the NCP, Nandgaon proved a sore point as two-time sitting MLA Pankaj Bhujbal lost to the Sena’s Suhas Kande by a margin of 13,889 votes. Incumbent NCP MLAs in Erandol and Baglan also lost their seats to the Sena and BJP respectively. The party however, won five seats, including Sinnar and Devlali, where it beat sitting Sena MLAs.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) was probably the biggest gainer in the region, winning two key constituencies. Mohammad Khalique beat sitting Congress MLA Aasif Rasheed in Malegaon Central, while Faruk Shah won against Independent candidate Rajwardhan Raghujirao in Dhule City by 3,307 votes. These were also the party’s only wins.

The incumbent MLA from Dhule City, Anil Gote, was fighting as an Independent and polled an impressive 42,432 votes against Mr. Shah, who won 46,679 votes.

Mr. Gote had resigned as MLA protesting BJP minister Girish Mahajan’s alleged authoritarian behaviour.

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