The ruling BJP won the Maharashtra's Palghar by-poll but lost to the NCP in Bhandara Gondia. The stakes are high for the state's main players, BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, in the state by-polls.
- BJP won in Maharashtra's Palghar but lost in Bhandara Gondia
- In Palghar, estranged allies BJP, Sena were pitted against each other
- Voting on Monday was marked by allegations of EVM malfunctioning
In Palghar, estranged allies BJP and Shiv Sena were pitted against each other. As counting was held on Thursday, BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit raced ahead of his rivals, Shriniwas Wanaga of the Shiv Sena and Damodar Singhda of the Congress. The by-polls were held because of the death of BJP parliamentarian Chintaman Wanaga. The Sena, in a bid to outdo the BJP, fielded his son Sriniwas Wanaga.
The BJP's Ravindra Gavit is a former Congress minister. In the bitter campaign for the seat, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray incessantly targeted the BJP, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Bhandara-Gondia seat was left vacant after the BJP's Nana Patole quit and rejoined his earlier party Congress. The seat was earlier held by NCP's Praful Patel, who lost in 2014 to Nana Patole. The NCP has joined hands with the Congress to defeat the BJP this time.
Voting on Monday was marked by allegations of malfunctioning in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines that eject slips to record a voter's choice.
The Election Commission ordered re-polling yesterday in 49 booths in Bhandara-Gondia.