Mumbai (Maharashtra): Former chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday termed his party’s victory of three out of six Rajya Sabha seats in Maharashtra as winning a small battle and that there was still a big battle left to win.
“We are very happy that all our three candidates- Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik have been elected to Rajya Sabha. Dhananjay Mahadik ‘ne aisa Dhobi Pachad lagaya” in last moments that he got more votes than Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut,” Fadnavis said.
“Some people are sad after this decision. We didn’t get afraid even when the state government lodged cases against those who supported us. This was a small battle, the big one is still left,” he added.
In Maharashtra, BJP was certain to get two seats but the party managed to secure a third seat as well with the help of Independents. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, former state minister Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik from the BJP emerged victorious while one candidate each from Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won.
285 votes were polled on Friday and 41 were needed to win one Rajya Sabha seat.
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress’s Imran Pratapgarhi were elected without any hassle. However, all eyes were on the contest for the sixth seat where the BJP has fielded Dhananjay Mahadik and Sanjay Pawar was in fray as the Shiv Sena candidate. Mahadik’s came as a setback for Shiv Sena which was hoping to get two seats in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Commenting on the poll results, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he was not surprised by the results.
“The result doesn’t surprise me. Congress, Shiv Sena, and NCP have been voted as per the quota, except (NCP’s) Praful Patel who has received an extra vote – that vote is not from MVA, it’s from the other side. We had fewer votes for the sixth seat but Shiv Sena fielded its candidate and tried to make him win. BJP had the support of many independent MLAs and we had only a few,” Pawar said.
“Devendra Fadnavis’ attempts to take Independents with BJP were successful. This result will not have any effect on the stability of our government,” he added.
Before the polling day, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has extended support to Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and said its two MLAs in Maharashtra will vote for Congress candidate Imran Pratapgarhi with an aim to defeat the BJP.
The counting of votes began after 1 am on Saturday following the order of the Election Commission. The counting could not start at its scheduled time on Friday after the BJP approached the EC alleging rules violation by three MLAs of MVA. On the other hand, the MVA had challenged the vote of one BJP MLA.
After the counting, Sanjay Raut alleged that the Election Commission favoured the BJP.
“Election Commission made our one vote invalid. We objected to two votes but no action was taken on that. Election Commission favoured them (BJP),” he said. (ANI)