As BJP bagged all three Rajya Sabha seats it contested in Maharashtra, senior party leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday called it a “convincing” victory and attributed it to meticulous planning as well as teamwork.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Fadnavis also took a dig at Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, who was one of the candidates in the poll fray, saying that BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik managed to secure more votes than him.
BJP had fielded three candidates in the six Rajya Sabha seats that went to the polls in Maharashtra on Friday.
BJP candidates – Union minister Piyush Goyal, former state minister Anil Bonde, and Dhananjay Mahadik – won the fiercely-fought elections while Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress’ Imran Pratapgarhi also emerged victorious.
A nail-biting contest was witnessed for the sixth seat – between BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik and Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Pawar, who lost. Mahadik and Pawar hail from Kolhapur in western Maharashtra.
“It is a convincing victory for the BJP and it is not just adding up numbers. Had even (jailed NCP leader and Maharashtra minister) Nawab Malik been allowed to cast his vote in the election and even if Sena had not lost one of its votes, the BJP would have still won the third seat,” Fadnavis asserted.
Hitting out at Sanjay Raut and his tirade against the BJP, Fadnavis said, “The situation of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is so bad that BJP’s third candidate secured more votes than MVA’s first candidate Sanjay Raut (41). BJP’s two other candidates already secured 48 votes each.”
The former Chief Minister said it was our meticulous plan and teamwork that ensured the party’s victory. “I would specially thank BJP’s two MLAs – Laxman Jagtap and Mukta Tilak – who, despite being seriously ill, traveled to Mumbai in an ambulance and voted for their support to the party,” he said.
”I had even informed the relatives of our ailing MLAs that they should not come to Mumbai for voting. But they insisted on exercising their franchise and came in ambulances,” Fadnavis added.
He said, with this win in the Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP has started its victory march, which would continue till the next polls.
“This result shows what people want in the state to happen as power was taken away from us in 2019 by backstabbing,” he alleged without naming the Shiv Sena. “Upcoming Vidhan Parishad elections are not going to be easy. But we will work hard for it. Our strategies and plans are worked out. I thank Ashwini Vaishnaw for guiding us,’ Fadnavis said.
The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the 2019 assembly election jointly, but they parted ways after differences erupted within the two parties over sharing the chief minister’s post.
The prestige battle for the sixth Rajya Sabha seat, saw Congress and BJP trading charges, even approaching the Election Commission, which led to an eight-hour delay in the counting of votes. The poll panel directed the Rajya Sabha election returning officer of Maharashtra to reject the vote cast by Shiv Sena legislator Suhas Kande, after which the counting of votes got underway after 1 am, on Saturday.