In shared honors, Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi bagged one seat each in the by-elections to two seats - Kasbapeth and Chinhwad - the results of which were announced here on Thursday.
In a stunner, MVA candidate Ravindra Dhangekar, of the Congress, bagged the Kasba Peth assembly seat - ousting the saffron party from its stronghold of 27 years -- defeating his main BJP rival Hemant Rasane.
While Dhangekar secured 73,284 votes, Rasane got 62,244 votes as per the final tally, of the elections held on February 26.
Offsetting the loss, BJP nominee Ashwini L. Jagtap was victorious in retaining the Chinchwad Assembly seat, trouncing her nearest MVA contender Vithal 'Nana' Kate, of the NCP, and Shiv Sena-UBT's rebel Rahul Kalate who contested as an independent.
Jagtap secured 1,35,494 votes over Kate's 99,424 votes, while Kalate managed to garner 40,075 votes.
The MVA's Congress-NCP-Sena-UBT leaders hailed the Kasba Peth achievement as a 'historic' triumph of democracy over dictatorship and predicted that the BJP's downfall has begun as the masses are weary of its policies, inflation, unemployment, etc.
Soon after her victory, Jagtap admitted that she benefitted from Kalate's rebellion, while Kate alleged that massive money power was at play in Chinchwad.
Jagtap is the widow of the former sitting BJP MLA, the late Laxman P. Jagtap, who passed away in January, and after her win, she went to his memorial, weeping and expressing her thanks for his blessings.
The poll results sparked a fresh war of words between the government and the Opposition, both advising each other to do "soul-searching" and analyze their respective defeats. (KB/IANS)