Launching an attack on the BJP after the latter lost the Kasba Peth Assembly to the consensus MVA candidate, the official mouthpiece of Shiv Sena (UBT), Saamana, today claimed the bypoll result goes to show the deep-seated public discontent against the BJP in Maharashtra and across the country.
In an editorial published on Friday, the mouthpiece said, “The result of Kasba Peth (Assembly bypoll) shows the deep-seated public discontent against the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra and in India as well. The voters are aware of all that is happening around them and hence voted against the BJP. The bypoll result in Kasba is being celebrated across Pune. This celebration will continue till 2024, not just in Maharashtra but across the country as well.”
Further, on the victory in Kasba Peth, the editorial claimed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) had breached a BJP bastion.
MVA-backed Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar won the Kasba Peth bypoll, trouncing BJP’s Hemant Rasane by 10,915 votes.
“These bypolls had to be held owing to the untimely demise of BJP MLAs Muktatai Tilak and Laxman Jagtap, and it is the BJP, which now has to bear the embarrassment of losing the prestigious seat of Kasba,” the Saamana editorial read further.
On the MVA’s loss in the other bypoll for the Chinchwad Assembly seat of Pune, the editorial stated that the BJP only emerged victorious after a struggle.
“In Kasba, the Maha Vikas Aghadi’s candidate Ravindra Dhangekar defeated BJP’s Hemant Rasne (by a comfortable margin), while in Chinchwad, the wife of late MLA Laxman Jagtap, emerged victorious only because of a three-way split in the Opposition votes. Had it been a contest between two candidates like Kasba, the BJP, which believes in ‘Khokeshahi’ (splashing cash to seize power), would not have won,” the editorial read.
“The contribution of the ‘original’ Shiv Sena, which was in the alliance at that time, was equally important in the BJP’s victory in the town till date. If the Shiv Sainiks had not put it its efforts at the time, then this so-called citadel of the BJP would have collapsed long time back,” it read.
The Kasba seat was considered a BJP stronghold in Maharashtra as the party held the constituency for 28 years.
The bye-election in Kasba was necessitated after the BJP’s Mukta Tilak died after a prolonged battle with cancer in December 2022.
Girish Bapat, who is presently a BJP MP from Pune, represented the seat five times till 2019.
The victory of Congress in Kasba is significant as it was the first direct contest between the ruling BJP-Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the MVA after the change of guard in the state last year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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