Khadakwasla, a semi-urban military settlement bordering Pune, jolted Maharashtra’s political balance between the Congress-NCP alliance and of the Shiv Sena-BJP after the bypoll to the state assembly this week. It was by far a more significant outcome than the foregone conclusion of Congress’s rout in Hisar.
The result gave BJP some reason to cheer: its candidate Bhimrao Tapkir, a local corporator, won by 3,625 votes, polling 59,634 votes in a rather low 32 per cent voter turnout. Khadakwasla had been represented by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Ramesh Wanjale, who passed away in June. The MNS didn’t nominate a candidate after Wanjale’s widow Harshada was persuaded to join the NCP; her election was considered a “mere formality” by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who assumed total control of the campaign.