Maharashtra bypolls: BJP wins Palghar, NCP takes Bhandara-Gondia & Sena cries foul

Maharashtra bypolls: BJP wins Palghar, NCP takes Bhandara-Gondia, Sena cries foul
BJP won the Palghar Lok Sabha seat while the NCP emerged victorious in the Bhandara-Gondiya constituency (Representational Image)

The BJP won the Palghar Lok Sabha seat while the NCP emerged victorious in the Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra on Thursday as votes were counted for the two bypolls held earlier this week.

BJP candidate in Palghar, Rajendra Gavit, defeated his nearest rival Shiv Sena’s Shriniwas Vanga in the crucial Palghar constituency by almost 30,000 votes. Bahujan Vikas Aghadi’s Baliram Jadhav and Congress’s Damodar Shingada were left trailing.

In Bhandara, the BJP candidate Hemant Patle, who was leading in the earlier rounds of counting, fell behind Nationalist Congress Party’s Madhukar Kukde.

Maharashtra bypolls:

The results of the two Lok Sabha seats – Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya – in Maharashtra are pivotal for all four major political parties – BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP – as its outcome will shape the future course of action.

The polling, held on Monday, was marred by allegations of malfunctioning in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, with all the opposition parties and ruling ally Shiv Sena hurling allegations of foul play and tampering of the machines.

“Many EVMs were faulty, names of about 50-60,00 people were missing from the voter list. Also, within 12 hours of voting ending, EC changed vote percentage. So all this is very doubtful,” Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena said.

Even during the campaign, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had released a video of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis asking workers to use all possible means to win the Palghar polls. The latter, however, alleged that the clip was tampered with.

Following the Election Commission’s order, re-polling was held at 49 booths in five of the six Assembly segments in Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday. However, no re-polling was ordered in the Palghar constituency.

The by-election in Palghar was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga. The Bhandara-Gondiya seat was vacated after BJP’s Nana Patole resigned from the party and quit his Lok Sabha membership.

As many as 25 candidates were in the fray for the two seats, 18 in Bhandara-Gondiya and seven in Palghar.

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