Maharashtra: Disquiet in MVA at BJP win and fears of cross voting

The defeat of the Congress party’s second candidate at the hands of the BJP, which won five of 10 Legislative Council seats, has caused consternation in the MVA alliance amid fears that cross voting led to the defeat of the Congress candidate. AICC secretary-in-charge of Maharashtra H K Patil said, “The whole MVA needs to introspect this very seriously. We will inquire on why we didn’t get the required votes. We have to sit together. We need to analyse things.”

PWD minister Ashok Chavan, who was directly supervising the election, said, “We were short of votes. We had 15 to 16 votes for the second candidate. We had made attempts to get additional votes from our allies. Considering the MVA strength, both our candidates should have won. We feel let down. We had sufficient votes and both our candidates should have got elected. Handore’s loss is unfortunate. Our first preference candidate losing requires total in-depth analysis by the party.”

Former CM Prithviraj Chavan said, “In the Rajya Sabha polls, BJP got 123 and in this they got 133. This means ten more people voted BJP in the past ten days. This is of serious concern. Congress will identify who cross voted because our votes were coded. Prima facie, Congress did not get any first preference vote from alliance partners.”

H K Patil did not wait in Mumbai till the elections were over and left for Delhi to attend a meeting, while state Congress chief Nana Patole left for a personal function.

While Shiv Sena was jubilant at the victory of its two candidates, its leaders said they need to look at the three votes that did not go to their candidates. Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs while their two candidates secured 26 each, leaving three votes unaccounted for.

“We also had a strategy of transferring additional votes to our allies but we will get to know after a thorough analysis which will be done by the party chief,” said Sachin Ahir, one of the winning candidates of Shiv Sena. NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said, “The result is not against the MVA. It is a result of horse trading. The BJP must explain how its vote share has increased from Rajya Sabha to MLC polls.”

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