Maha MLC polls: 'Overconfident' BJP losing ground, says Sena
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Saturday said the results of the elections to five Maharashtra Legislative Council seats showed that the "overconfident" BJP was losing ground in the state.
It said that the most shocking defeat for the opposition party was its loss in the Nagpur division graduates' constituency, which it held for over five decades.
"In the Maharashtra Assembly elections held last year, the BJP had lost two and won three constituencies in Nagpur by a slender margin. Its downfall had begun that time and now it has significantly lost the ground," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said.
Union minister Nitin Gadkarirepresented the Nagpur graduates' constituency for 25 years and prior to him Gangadhar Fadnavis, father of Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, was the MLC, it said.
"But in the RSS fortress, BJP candidate and Nagpur Mayor Sandeep Joshi bit the dust this time. The defeat wasn't surprising since the party's downfall had begun in the Assembly polls. The BJP is divided into Gadkari and Fadnavis camps," it said.
"Fadnavis had denied ticket to sitting MLC and Gadkari confidante Anil Sole," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
Even in Amravatidivision teachers' constituency, the BJP lost, it said.
"Graduates and teachers voted against the BJP in these elections. In the Dhule Nandurbar local bodies constituency, Amrish Patel, who had defected from the Congress to the BJP, won the election. But it is Patel's personal victory and not that of the BJP," it added.
The Marathi daily said that the Pune graduates' constituency was also a BJP stronghold, which was earlier represented by Union minister Prakash Javadekar. It was earlier also held by state BJP president Chandrakant Patil.
"When Patil represented the Pune graduates' constituency, he became the state Revenue minister. Now, under his leadership the party lost the Pune teachers' as well as graduates' seats," it said.
The Sena lashed out at Patil for saying that the BJP lost because it contested the elections alone.
"The BJP was overconfident. It felt that it didn't need anyone and can win alone. Good that it lost," it added.
"The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) allies contested all the seats together genuinely and worked for each other. When the Sena contested with the BJP, it had to face the BJP rebels," it said.
In a word of advice to ally Congress, the Sena said that in Nagpur, all factions and rivals of the Congress came together and fought against the BJP unitedly.
"If this is done, a miracle like the Nagpur win can happen," it said.
The biennial elections to the Upper House were held on December 1. While Congress won the Nagpur graduates' and Pune teachers' constituencies, the NCP won Aurangabad graduates' and Pune graduates' seats. Independent Kiran Sarnaik won Amravati teachers seat.