Mumbai: Former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader imported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Suresh Dhas helped the BJP wrest the Osmanabad-Latur-Beed local authorities constituency from the NCP.
Dhas defeated his lone NCP-supported Independent rival Ashok Jagdale by a margin of 76 votes. The defeat is being seen as a setback for Dhanajay Munde of NCP and leader of opposition (LoP) in legislative council with his estranged cousin sister Pankaja Munde of BJP and Minister for Rural Development ensuring victory despite lacking the numbers. The result proves at least 76 members from opposition Congress and NCP have cross voted to Dhas of BJP.
Dhas polled 527 votes as against Jagdale polling 451 votes, with 25 votes being declared as invalid. Out of the total 1,005 voters, 1,003 had cast their vote. However, with 25 votes being declared invalid, the actual total votes cast was 978 and the quota of votes required to win was 490 votes.
What is intriguing that out of the total 1,005 votes, the BJP and Sena alone put together had just 367 votes. Whereas the NCP and Congress alone together had 527 votes, with MIM and others having 92 votes.
Dhas alone got 527 votes, whereas Jagdale got 451 votes. A clear indication that 76 corporators had cross-voted in favor of Dhas.
Dhas while reacting to his victory remarked “some wearing the watch on their hands had cross-voted for him” (indicating that some Congress (Hand symbol), NCP (Watch symbol had voted for him.
Taking a sarcastic swipe at LoP Munde, he further remarked “after all a father (Dhas) is a father to a son (Dhananjay)”.
However, LoP Munde alleged the BJP had used all possible means and the government machinery to ensure their victory.
With the BJP adding one more seat to it’s tally in the legislative council, it has put the Deputy Chairman’s post currently being held by Manikrao Thakare of the Congress under threat.
As per the latest tally in the 78 member upper house, the NCP has 21 members, BJP 19, Congress 17, Sena 11, JD-U 1, PRP 1 and Independents 6. The BJP is bound to stake claim to the Deputy Chairmans post in the upper house as it has two more members now in the upper house than the Congress.
Now all eyes are on the elections to the four legislative council seats of Mumbai Graduates, Mumbai Teachers, Konkan Graduates and Nashik Teachers which go to polls on June 25 and whose results will be declared on June 28. The results will further alter the numerical partywise strength in the upper house of the state legislature.