SHIV Sena MP from Shirur Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil scored a hat-trick as he won by a record margin of over three lakh votes on Friday. While Patil got 6,43,415 votes, NCP candidate Devdutt Nikam managed to get 3,41,601 votes.
MNS candidate Ashok Khandebharad came a distant third with 36,448 votes. AAP candidate retired justice Sopanrao Nikam gained 16,663 votes.
Patil had won the previous election by a margin of 1,78,611 votes. Of the six assembly constituencies in the area, Hadapsar is the only one constituency which has a Shiv Sena MLA, while rest of the areas have NCP or Congress MLAs.
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The political history of Shirur is such that although NCP has won local polls, the Lok Sabha representative has been from the Sena — a fact mentioned by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar during the campaign trail.
Although NCP has a senior leader like Dilip Walse-Patil in the area, the party had a tough time getting a willing candidate. Nikam dismissed the notion that he was a compromise candidate. “I had hoped to win,” he said.
Patil had got a comfortable lead from the start of the counting process in the assembly constituencies of Bhosari, Hadapsar, Khed Alandi and Shirur. Nikam was leading in Ambegaon.
Sena had seen a series of high profile leaders deserting the party to join MNS before the polls. The leaders who had left had blamed Patil for his ‘high-handedness’ and had vowed to defeat him. However, the MNS did not figure in the polls as it failed to cause a major dent in Shiv Sena’s vote bank.
Interestingly, some NCP leaders apparently pointed to the MNS’s non-performance as one of the reasons for Nikam’s loss.
Accepting defeat, Nikam said it was part of the electoral process. Patil credited his good performance to party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
“I will talk to the government about taking a decision on the international convention centre and the red zone issue in my constituency.