The victory of NCP candidate Dhananjay Munde in state council election is likely to be the beginning of a prolonged headache for his uncle and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde in the coming Lok Sabha elections. NCP top leadership on Monday indicated that BJPs decision to dent the Congress-NCP vote bank will be avenged in the Parliamentary polls using Dhananjay as a pawn to wreck Mundes hold in the Beed Lok Sabha seat.
Sources said the party may not hesitate to field Dhananjay against Munde in the next Lok Sabha elections. However,BJP has dismissed the NCP threat as baseless. State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said,The council election results are a setback for Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,who failed to retain his vote bank. Almost 17 MLAs associated with the ruling parties have voted in favour of BJP-backed Prithviraj Kakade. Independent candidate Kakade polled 106 votes.
Munde,who was in Pune,said Kakade managed to garner much more votes than expected. Pawar had claimed there would be vote division in our camp but it happened in the ruling coalitions camp, he said. The NCP general secretary said,We won the council seat but failed to retain vote share of 179 MLAs.
Dhananjay who got 165 of the total 289 votes had joined NCP after resigning from BJP. His relations with Munde got strained after the latter fielded his daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve in the 2009 Assembly elections.
The Congress (82),NCP (62) and Independents (35) together constitute a vote share of 179 votes. However,the results showed the ruling combine could not hold on to its vote base as almost 10 MLAs voted against Dhananjay. Ajit hurriedly called up the polling agents of NCP to find out why Dhananjay failed to win the support of 179 votes. The NCP leaders blamed the Congress for failing to keep its Independents together.
A senior NCP general secretary said,The NCPs quota of 62 votes and 11 Independents was intact. It was the Congress-supported Independents who betrayed. The NCP claimed 10 members of the secular front voted against Dhananjay.
However,Fadnavis said: The BJP (47) and Shiv Sena (45) together constitute 92 votes. Two MLAs could not come for voting and one was invalid,bringing down their tally to 89. But the total votes received by Kakade were 106,which means they got 17 votes outside the Sena-BJP quota.
With inputs from Pune