Other States

Cong., BJP reach pact on two seats in Council polls

In a rare incident of mutual agreement with the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to avoid what could have become one of the costliest Council polls in recent times, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership on Friday withdrew its candidate from the Kolhapur local body council seat clearing the way for Congress candidate and State Minister Satej Patil’s unopposed victory.

In return, the Congress withdrew its candidate from Nandurbar-Dhule local bodies seat paving the way for the victory of BJP’s Amrish Patel.

With this, winners on four of six Legislative Council seats have been declared unopposed. Two seats in Mumbai have already gone to Sunil Shinde (Shiv Sena) and Rajhans Singh (BJP).

In Kolhapur, the top State leadership of both Congress and BJP arrived at the agreement mutually amid reports of exorbitant demands from the voters, corporators and councillors of local bodies from both candidates.

‘Monetary demands’

“There were demands of Innova cars from these voters, irrespective of party affiliations. There were monetary demands as well. When it was clear that the whole election was growing out of proportion, it was mutually decided to work out an arrangement,” a source closely associated with the election process in Kolhapur told The Hindu. He said the expenditure from both sides on this single seat alone could have touched ₹100 crore.

In the remaining two Council seats, Nagpur will see a direct contest between former minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule (BJP) and Ravindra Bhoyar (Congress), a former BJP veteran.

In Akola-Washim-Buldhana local bodies seat, Gopikishan Bajoria (Sena) will take on Vasant Khandelwal (BJP). This seat has been with the Sena for four terms when the party was in alliance with the BJP. This is for the first time that both the parties will contest against each other.

The election for these two seats will take place on December 10.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 1:59:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cong-bjp-reach-pact-on-two-seats-in-council-polls/article37713224.ece

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