Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar on Friday said the victory of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) candidates in the biennial state Legislative Council polls was a testimony to the unity among the alliance constituents. He also said that the results showed that the people of the state have reposed their faith in the government.
His statement comes after the NCP, which is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, won the Aurangabad and Pune graduates' constituencies of the legislative council on Friday. Results of three other seats are yet to be declared, but the MVA candidates are leading in two of those seats.
Biennial elections to six legislative council seats - three graduates' and two teachers' as well as one local body seat were held on December 1. The BJP won only the Dhule-Nandurbar local body seat.
In a statement, Pawar thanked voters for their mandate favouring the MVA candidates. "The victory of the MVA candidates is a symbol of the unity among all the alliance constituents and the faith reposed in the state government by the people," he said.
Maharashtra minister and state NCP chief Jayant Patil said the poll outcome showed that apart from farmers, workers and middle class people, highly-educated voters also support the MVA government.
State home minister Anil Deshmukh also thanked the voters and added that they "bent lofty necks" of rival parties by backing the MVA candidates. "We were humble before the people yesterday, are so today and will always be so. Congratulations to the #MahaVikasAghadi candidates," he tweeted in Marathi. Deshmukh also said that the opposition parties should now support the government in the state's development. "If it cannot do so, it should at least stop anti-Maharashtra activities #BJP," the minister added.
Thanking the voters, NCP MP Supriya Sule congratulated all those who "worked hard" to ensure victory of the MVA candidates.
PWD minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan also hailed the MVA's performance in five of the six constituencies which went to polls.
NCP's Satish Chavan won the Aurangabad division graduates' constituency, defeating BJP nominee Shirish Boralkar. Chavan polled 1,16,638 votes, while Boralkar bagged 58,743 votes, the state electoral office said.
In Pune division graduates' constituency, the NCP's Arun Lad defeated BJP candidate Sangram Deshmukh by a margin of 48,824 votes. Lad polled 1,22,145 votes, while Deshmukh bagged 73,321 votes.
BJP's defeat in Pune graduates' constituency is considered to be a big blow to party's state unit chief Chandrakant Patil, who along with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had campaigned extensively to retain the seat.
Patil represented the Pune graduates' constituency before he became a member of the Legislative Assembly from Kothrud constituency in the 2019 state elections.
Congress candidate Abhijit Wanjari won the Nagpur division graduates' constituency by defeating BJP's Sandip Joshi by a margin of 18,910 votes. Wanjari secured 61,701 votes, while the latter bagged 42,791 votes. Joshi is presently the Mayor of Nagpur city.
In Pune division teachers' constituency, Jayant Asgaonkar of the Congress is leading over Independent candidate Dattatraya Sawant.
In Amravati division teachers' constituency, Kiran Sarnaik (Independent) is leading over Shiv Sena's Shrikant Deshpande.
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