The Maharashtra Legislative Council election witnessed a mixed-bag response so far as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dnyaneshwar Mhatre won in the Konkan division teachers constituency on Thursday, while the nominee backed by the saffron outfit faced defeat at the hands of the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in the Nagpur division teachers seat.
Contestant Sudhakar Adbale, supported by the MVA defeated his closest rival Nagorao Ganar, a BJP-backed independent and the sitting MLC from the seat.
MVA's victory in Gadkari, Fadnavis' turf
The result is crucial as Nagpur is the home district of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and also Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. MVA's victory in the home of BJP stalwarts will impact state politics as the opposition sees it as a revival post-losing power.
However, the counting of votes for three other seats - the Aurangabad division teachers constituency and Amravati and Nashik division graduates segments - was underway. The final results of all five seats will show the people's mood ahead of the Lok Sabha election.
Polling for biennial elections to all the five seats of the Upper House of the legislature was held on January 30 and counting began on Thursday morning.
Mhatre, the BJP candidate also backed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena, won the Konkan teachers constituency trouncing MVA-supported nominee Balaram Patil.
Returning officer and divisional commissioner Mahendra Kalyankar, who announced the results of the Konkan teachers constituency after counting of votes in Navi Mumbai, said Mhatre polled 20,683 votes, while Patil bagged 10,997.
Although there were eight candidates in the fray, the main contest was between Mhatre and Patil. The Konkan teachers constituency covers Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. This segment had recorded the highest voter turnout at 91.02 per cent.
The MVA comprises the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
In the Aurangabad teachers constituency, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Vikram Kale was leading after the first round of counting.
The six-year term of five Council members - three from teachers and two from graduates constituencies - is expiring on February 7 and polling was held to fill up the upcoming vacancies.
Teachers and graduates fulfilling certain criteria and enrolled as voters formed the electoral college for these elections.
(With PTI input)
Also read: 'Not an inch of Karnataka...': CM Bommai reiterates his stance on border dispute with Maharashtra