Pune: In a setback for the ruling Congress-NCP, the BJP-Shiv-Sena-RPI combine won the Khadakwasla bypoll, the results of which were announced on Monday.
The united opposition candidate Bhimrao Tapkir of the BJP defeated his rival Congress-NCP backed candidate Harshada Wanjale by over 4000 votes.
The election necessitated by the death of the popular Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) legislator Ramesh Wanjale. His widow Harshada contested the polls with the backing Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine, while MNS had decided against putting up any candidate as a tribute to Wanjale’s memory.
However, the result indicates that the Congress-NCP’s hope that Harshada Wanjale could benefit from her husband’s sympathy wave has not fructified.
On the other hand, it remains to be seen whether the opposition, which was expecting a fall-out of Hazare’s crusade on the election outcome, would give credit to the Gandhian for the victory.
The defeat in Khadakvasla would hurt the Congress more than the expected trouncing in Hisar as Maharashtra is considered a stronghold of the party, while it had come third in the last elections held for the Lok Sabha from the Haryana town.
First Published: Monday, October 17, 2011, 12:11