Cong wins hands down in M'rashtra

Cong wins hands down in M'rashtra


 While the Congress-NCP alliance bagged 25 seats out of 48, the saffron combine of the BJP-Sena won 20 and three seats went to independents. The MNS and the BSP, though not opening an account, spoilt the chances of the Sena-BJP and the Congress respectively wherever they could.

The Congress alone got 17, followed by Shiv Sena which won 11, the BJP 9 and NCP 7. MNS was responsible for Congress-NCP victory in at least 10 constituencies.

A disheartened Pawar put up a brave face and said the results were an “endorsement” by voters on the good performance of the UPA government. He said the NCP would support whosoever was the Congress’ choice for the prime ministership. Pawar said a stable government was the need of the hour and the people “were confident that only the UPA can provide a stable government.”

Pawar, who got elected from Madha constituency by over two lakh votes, said he was satisfied with the results, but said he was expecting more seats for the NCP.

Suffering in sugar belt

BJP general secretary Gopinath Munde entered the Lok Sabha for the first time from Beed constituency. The party did well in North Maharashtra and Marathwada.

NCP suffered greatly in the sugar belt. It lost two seats in Pune district to Shiv Sena, one seat of Ahmednagar to the BJP, both seats in Kolhapur districts and so on.

Besides Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule was elected from Baramati, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel from Bhandara-Gondia and Sameer Bhujbal, son of Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, from Nasik. The party also opened its account in Mumbai by winning Mumbai North East and bagged Thane constituency.

NCP also won from Satara, where Chhatrapati Shivaji’s direct descendend Udayanraje Bhonsle was elected with a thumping majority. Osmanabad too went to the NCP.
In all, the NCP could win only eight seats, down from 10 in 2004.

Cong performance

On the other hand, the Congress surged ahead with 18 seats, retaining most of the seats and winning constituencies in Vidarbha. Its stunning performance was in Mumbai, where it retained all five constituencies, as well as Pune.

In Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Congress minister Narayan Rane’s son Nilesh Rane emerged victorious over Sena’s Suresh Prabhu, who was power and later environment minister in the Vajpayee cabinet.

In Pune, Suresh Kalmadi romped home, defying all expectations and machinations by Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar. In Nagpur, non-conventional energy resources minister Vilas Muttemwar beat inner party rivals and defeated BJP’s candidate newspaper baron Banwarilal Purohit.

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde won from Solapur, avenging the defeat of his wife in the 2004 polls. But his ministerial colleague A R Antulay lost to Sena’s Anant Gite from Raigad Lok Sabha constituency.

So also RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, supported by both Congress and NCP, who lost from Shirdi constituency in Ahmednagar district to Sena’s Wakchoure.

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