Turncoats meet with mixed results

High profile defectors bite the dust, a few find success

Published - October 25, 2019 01:38 am IST - Mumbai

Udayanraje Bhosale

Udayanraje Bhosale

In the run-up to the Assembly elections, several politicians from the opposition parties quit to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Shiv Sena in the hope of scoring a win. For the most part, however, the turncoats faced disappointment on Thursday, losing to those who replaced them in their previous parties.

The BJP had rejected 12 of its own sitting MLAs, favouring imports from other parties instead.

In an embarrassing defeat to the party in Satara, Udayanraje Bhosale — one of the most high profile leaders to defect from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) four months after winning the Lok Sabha elections — lost the parliamentary bypoll to the NCP’s Shrinivas Patil. In Indapur, where former minister Harshavardhan Patil quit the Congress party to join the BJP, lost to the NCP’s Dattatray Bharane by 3,110 votes.

Meanwhile, former NCP MLA from Akole, Vaibhav Pichad, contested on a BJP ticket but lost to the NCP’s Kiran Lahamate with a humiliating margin of 57,689 votes. Two other sitting MLAs who quit the NCP, Jaydutta Kshirsagar from Beed and Dilip Sopal from Barshi, met the same fate.

The Congress also managed to retain its seat in Shrirampur, despite its three-time MLA Bhausaheb Kamble exiting the party a few months ago. Natha Kanade defeated Mr. Kamble, who was contesting from the Shiv Sena, with a margin of 18,994 votes.

Nirmala Gavit, the MLA from Igatpuri in Nashik district, met a similar fate. She had left the Congress for the Sena before elections.

However, it was not a bad day for all defectors contesting on a BJP ticket.

Kalidas Kolambkar, a seven-time Congress MLA from Wadala who joined the BJP before the elections, defeated the Congress’s Shivkumar Lad with a comfortable margin of 30,845 votes. Similarly, former senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who left the party this June, emerged victorious from Shirdi on a BJP ticket. An MLA from the constituency since 1995, he defeated the Congress candidate Jagannath Thorat with a crushing margin of 87,024 votes.

Jaykumar Gore, who won in 2014 on a Congress ticket, retained his seat as a BJP candidate, while two former NCP members who joined the BJP, Rahul Narwekar and Ranajagjitsinh Patil, also emerged victorious from the Colaba and Tuljapur constituencies respectively.

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