Pune: Facing a very tough battle to retain his seat for a fifth Lok Sabha term from Solapur, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was among the Congress stalwarts who succumbed to the Modi wave in Maharashtra, losing to BJP`s Sharad Bansode by about 1.5 lakh votes.
While Shinde polled 3,68,205 votes, Bansode got 5,17,879.
Despite the anti-incumbency and the controversies caused by his statements on saffron terror camps, "short public memory" of the Bofors scandal (which he compared to the coalgate) and the one about "crushing the media", Shinde was hoping to romp home on the back of the strong roots Congress has had in Solapur, in the sugar belt of Western Maharashtra.
The region has traditionally favoured Congress and NCP.
However, Bansode, who had lost to Shinde last time, got better of his "ever smiling" rival this time.
Another Central minister, Pratik Patil, who lost to his BJP rival Sanjaykaka Patil, has created a history of sorts by becoming the first Congress candidate to lose in Sangli Lok Sabha constituency -- also in western Maharashtra -- which had sent Congress candidates to the Parliament in all the elections so far.
Pratik polled 3,72,271 votes against Sanjaykaka Patil`s 6,11,563 votes.
Pratik is the grandson of Congress and Cooperative movement stalwart and former Maharashtra Chief Minister, the late Vasantdada Patil, who had cultivated this constituency with a grass root mass support over decades.