Congress's Ravindra Dhangekar won the by-elections in Maharashtra's Kasba Peth today, beating BJP candidate Hemant Rasane by over 12,000 votes. Counting is also underway for another seat in Maharashtra's Pune district.
Even though the Election Commission is yet to put out the final result, Congress leader Nana Patole announced that their candidate in Kasba Peth has won. Congress workers gathered outside the counting centre to celebrate the victory.
The Congress managed to dethrone BJP who had been in power in Kasba Peth constituency for nearly 28 years.
The polls were held after the death of incumbent BJP MLAs Mukta Tilak (Kasba) and Laxman Jagtap (Chinchwad), were held on February 26, registering an average voter turnout of 50 per cent.
These were the first polls which pitted the BJP and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena against the alliance of the Congress, Nationalist NCP and Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena.
As the bypolls to Kasba and Chinchwad seats in Pune had become an issue of prestige for the Congress alliance as well as the ruling Shinde-BJP coalition in the state, big leaders like NCP president Sharad Pawar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis campaigned for their respective candidates.
The Congress had criticised the BJP for forcing its Lok Sabha member Girish Bapat, who is ailing, to campaign during the election.
(with PTI inputs)