PUNE: Although the Assembly poll results turned out to be as expected, the Pune rural constituencies sprang a few surprises.
Out of 10 candidates who were in the fray, five were sitting MLAs among which a few had a surprising defeat.
Pune city and district had total 21 seats, of which, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won 10, yet again proving the fact that Pune remains a stronghold for the party. Close to NCP was Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which won nine seats, while two were won by Congress. Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena could not get any seat.
Former chief minister Ajit Pawar won by a huge margin in Baramati for the seventh time in a row.
Last time, he won the seat by 90,000 votes, while this time, his margin increased to 1.30 lakh. The Baramati constituency is dominated by Dhangar community and thus, the BJP had fielded Gopichand Padalkar. However, the BJP hardly had any effect on the voters.
Similar was the case with Indapur where Harshvardhan Patil, despite joining the BJP, could not win the seat and lost it to the NCP candidate for the second time.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had made this seat a prestige one since it falls in the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency. The winning candidate Dattatrey Bharne won by 3,209 votes. Daund saw a close fight between Bharne and BJP’s Rahul Kul. In the last round, Kul won by only 673 votes.
The most surprising was the defeat of Shiv Sena candidate Vijay Shivtare who could not score a hat-trick. This was the Purandar constituency which according to poll pandits had the anti-incumbency factor. Besides that, the fight here was between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena. Shivtare lost to Congress district president Sanjay Jagtap. He defeated Shivtare by 31,305 votes.
Another surprising defeat was of BJP’s sitting MLA Sanjay alias Yash Balabhegde. For the first time in the last 25 years, BJP has lost this seat.
In Bhor constituency, Congress’s Sangram Thopate since morning took the lead. He won with 4,107 lakh defeating Shiv Sena’s Kuldeep Konde by 96,800 votes. Shirur constituency had a fight between NCP Ashok Pawar and BJP’s Baburao Pacharne. Although Pacharne was leading, Pawar pulled up the seat by 41,204 votes.
In Khed-Alandi NCP’s Dilip Mohite, BJP’s Suresh Gore and Atul Deshmukh had a tough fight. Finally, it was NCP’s Mohite who pulled the win by 33,242 votes. In Ambegaon NCP’s Dilip Walse Patil and BJP-Shiv Sena alliance candidate Rajaram Bankhele had the main fight. Walse Patil took the lead from the start and won by 66,775 votes.