While the NCP held on to the prestige seat of Baramati and managed to score a victory in Shirur, ending Shiv Sena’s 15-year-long hold on the seat, the party suffered a setback in the urban pockets, which mostly voted for its rivals in these Lok Sabha constituencies.
Senior NCP leader Supriya Sule won Baramati for a third time, while actor-turned-politician Amol Kolhe staged a surprising win in Shirur over three-term MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil.
“The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has increased its influence in urban areas and this affected the vote share of the NCP in both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. We will have to make a solid effort to get back our supporters in urban areas, which used to be our stronghold,” said a NCP leader.
Data from the Election Commission reveals that while Sule beat her rival, BJP candidate Kanchan Kul, by 1.55 lakh votes, she received far fewer votes than Kul in the Khadakwasla assembly segment, part of which falls in Pune city. Sule received 86,993 votes while Kul won 1,52,487 votes, over 65,000 more than the NCP candidate.
The Khadakwasla segment has remained the achilles heel for the NCP, as Sule has never been able to lead in the segment even in her previous electoral forays. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sule had received 20,000 less votes than her opponent, RSP chief Mahadeo Jankar, in Khadakwasla.
The party stumbled a bit in the urban segments that are part of Shirur Lok Sabha constituency as well, particularly in Hadapsar, which is in Pune city, and Bhosari, which is in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Kolhe received fewer votes than Adhalrao in both segments. He got 1,05,712 votes in Hadapsar while Adhalrao got 1,11,062 votes, and 88,259 votes in Bhosari, where the Sena leader got 1,25,336 votes.
Even in Maval, where NCP candidate Parth Pawar was beaten by Sena leader Shrirang Barne, the assembly segments of Pimpri and Chinchwad, under the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation played a key role in the final outcome. In Pimpri, Barne received 1,03,235 votes while Pawar had to settle for 61,941 votes. Barne received 1,76,475 votes in Chinchwad while Pawar got only 79,717 votes.