Will the MVA succeed in beating BJP-Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) alliance in the battle for five seats in Maharashtra Legislative Council polls? At the time of filing this report, both alliances had won one seat each while counting was going on for the remaining three seats.
The BJP snatched Kokan teachers constituency from MVA as its candidate Dnyaneshwar Mhatre defeated MVA's Balaram Patil by over 10,000 votes. The seat had been held by MVA constituent Peasants and Workers Party in the previous term.
The BJP had given charge of this constituency to minister Ravindra Chavan. Chavan, along with BJP legislator Prashant Thakur and Eknath Shinde Sena minister Uday Samant, took a lot of effort to wrest this seat from MVA.
Meanwhile, MVA wrested BJP's Nagpur teachers constituency seat as its candidate Sudhakar Adbale defeated BJP's Nagorao Ganar, who represented the constituency for over a decade. Defeat in Nagpur is a big jolt to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the election management was virtually controlled by him.
The counting is going on for the remaining three seats, namely, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nashik.
Vikram Kale of NCP (MVA) has taken a strong lead of over 8,000 votes over his nearest rival Kiran Patil of BJP in Aurangabad. NCP looks all set to retain this seat.
In Amravati, Dhiraj Lingade of MVA has lead of just over 1,000 votes over the BJP's Ranjit Patil. As many as 18,000 votes are yet to be counted.
In Nashik graduates constituency, the fight is between Congress rebel and independent candidate Satyajit Tambe and MVA's Shubhangi Patil. This is the most watched election as Tambe, a Congress leader filed his nomination as an independent candidate because he did not get a ticket. His father Dr Sudhir Tambe is the outgoing MLC. Satyajit Tambe is the nephew of Maharashtra Congress stalwart Balasaheb. After he filed for nomination as an independent candidate, the BJP extended its support to Tambe. MVA candidate Shubhangi Patil, meanwhile, was hoping to get a ticket from the BJP, but when it became clear that she won't get a ticket, she switched over to the MVA.