Mumbai/Dec,4: The BJP today appeared to be heading for a setback in polls in Maharashtra, where it lost power last year. Of the six seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council where polling was held earlier this week, the BJP is ahead in only one. The ruling Shiv Sena-NCP Congress coalition is leading in four seats and an independent member is set to win the remaining seat.
The Shiv Sena, however, may end up scoring a duck even though its alliance partners are leading in four seats. Its lone candidate was trailing an independent candidate in Amravati.
The BJP appears to have lost out in its perceived strongholds, the graduate constituencies. Its biggest loss is the Nagpur seat, a party stronghold that was represented in the past by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s father Gangadhar Rao Fadnavis.
The elections held on Tuesday were seen as a prestige battle between the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the opposition BJP, which have collided on a range of controversies in recent months.
Among the ruling coalition partners, the NCP or Nationalist Congress Party of Sharad Pawar and the Congress contested two seats each and the Shiv Sena fielded its candidate in one seat.
The BJP contested four seats and an Independent supported by the party contested in another seat.
NCP MP Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter, congratulated the winning coalition candidates in a tweet. “Good Morning! With Hon. Ajit Dada and Hon. Jayant Patil Ji. Thanking all the voters who voted for the Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates. This victory would not have been possible without the hard work of all our candidates, party workers and guidance of our leaders,” Ms Sule wrote.