In a major jolt to the ruling NCP in Pimpri Chinchwad, the party had to taste defeat in the bypolls for the Vidyanagar ward at the hands of Shiv Sena. Ram Patre of Shiv Sena won the seat, which was previously held by Jagdish Shetty of NCP.
With a little more than six months left for the civic elections, the bypolls were effected due to the disqualification of Shetty. Shetty was disqualified as a corporator as the division caste validity committee declared his caste certificate invalid. A senior NCP leader, Shetty had held the standing committee chairmanship of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation too.
The run-up to the elections saw the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh fielding candidates. As Shetty had previously held the seat, the NCP was hopeful of an easy victory here. Chinchwad BJP MLA Laxman Jagtap had actively campaigned for the BJP’s candidate-former corporator Bhima Bobade.
Patre polled 2,402 votes, while Satish Bhosale of Congress managed to secure 1,023 votes. Bhima Bobade received only 959 votes. Dattatreya More of NCP secured a meagre 580 votes to finish at the fourth place.
NCP had managed to retain the neighbouring Mohannagar ward which had gone for bypolls a few months back. An upbeat Shiv Sena termed the victory as a moral win and claimed that it was a defeat of the money and muscle power of NCP.