Pune: NCP makes big gains, two saffron ministers lose

Chetan Tupe, NCP wining candidate from Hadapsar constitiency gestures at an election vote counting centre in Pune, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Sharad Pawar-led NCP made major gains in Pune district by winning 10 assembly seats, seven more than its 2014 poll tally, even as two ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis government bit the dust in the Assembly elections.

While the Shiv Sena lost all three seats it held earlier in the district, its ally BJP managed to retain nine of the 11 seats it had won in the last election.

Congress's strength grew to two, as it won one more seat in the district this time.

Pune district comprises 21 Assembly segments.

Kothrud constituency in Pune city was one of the most-talked about segments in the state this time as senior BJP leader Chandrakant Patil, considered the number two in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet, was in the fray from there.

Patil defeated Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) Kishore Shinde by a margin of 25,495 votes. The Congress and NCP had supported Shinde.

Patil was battling the perception of an "outsider" in the constituency as sitting MLA Medha Kulkarni was denied ticket to accommodate him.

It seems the decision to field Patil from Brahmin-dominated Kothrud constituency did not go down well with the voters much as the margin of victory came down. Kulkarni had won the 2014 election by a margin of over 64,000 votes.

Apart from that, BJP also managed to retain the Kasba, Parvati, Shivajinagar, Pune Cantonment and Khadkwasla constituencies in Pune city, with Mukta Tilak, Madhuri Misal, Siddharth Shirole, Sunil Kamble, and Bhimrao Tapkir winning the seats respectively.

Congress's Sanjay Jagtap breached the Shiv Sena's bastion Purandar by defeating state Minister for Water Resources Vijay Shivtare. Jagtap defeated Shivtare by 31,404 votes.

Sanjay alias Bala Bhegde, who was recently inducted into the Fadnavis cabinet, also faced defeat at the hands of NCP candidate Sunil Shelke, a BJP rebel from Maval constituency.

In 2014, the NCP had won three seats- Baramati, Ambegaon and Indapur- in Pune district, while Congress had only won Bhor, which it retained and also added the Purandar seat to its kitty.

In Baramati, senior NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar defeated BJP's Gopichand Padalkar by a huge margin of over 1.65 lakh votes.

In Hadapsar constituency, NCP candidate Chetan Tupe defeated sitting BJP MLA Yogesh Tilekar by a margin of around 3,000 votes.

In Vadgaon Sheri, NCP's Sunil Tingre defeated BJP's sitting MLA Jagdish Mulik.

In Indapur constituency, NCP managed to retain the seat as sitting MLA Dattatray Bharne defeated BJP's Harshvardhan Patil by over 3,000 votes. Patil, who has been with the Congress for years, had joined the BJP ahead of the election.

In Ambegaon, NCP's Dilip Walse Patil defeated Shiv Sena's Rajaram Bankhele.

Shiv Sena, which earlier held three seats- Pimpri, Khed-Alandi and Purandar- in the district, could not retain even a single seat this time.

In Khed-Alandi, Dilip Mohite defeated Shiv Sena's Shekhar Gore.

In Shirur constituency, NCP's Ashok Pawar defeated sitting BJP MLA Baburao Pacharne.

As far as Junnar constituency is concerned, Atul Benke defeated Shiv Sena nominee Sharad Sonawane.

In Pimpri constituency, NCP's Anna Bansode defeated Shiv Sena sitting MLA Gautam Chabukswar.

In Daund, Rahul Kul, a sitting MLA from Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, who contested on BJP's symbol this time, defeated NCP's Ramesh Thorat by a slender margin of 746.

In Chinchwad, Laxman Jagtap defeated independent candidate Rahul Kalate, whereas in Bhosari, BJP's Mahesh Landge defeated independent candidate Vilas Lande.

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