BJP's Jagruti Patel wins Bhandup by-election

BJP's Jagruti Patel wins Bhandup by-election”

The by-elections were conducted following the untimely demise of Congress corporator Pramila Patil on April 25.

Yet another victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after its candidate Jagruti Patel won the by-election for the ward no 116 of BMC in the Bhandup by-election. The BJP and the Shiv Sena, partners in the central government and in Maharashtra, contested the civic polls separately, with the bitter campaign highlighting their strained ties since the BJP's rise as the state's number 1 party after national and assembly elections in 2014.Though the two parties had nearly the same number of seats, the BJP said it would not challenge the Sena for the post of Mayor.The BJP's goodwill gesture after the BMC elections was seen also as an acknowledgment of the role the Shiv Sena plays in supporting the Maharashtra government of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Jagruti Patil secured 11,129 votes as against 6,337 bagged by Meenakshi Patil. The Sena fielded Meenakshi Patil, wife of MLA Ashok Patil, against her. The seat fell vacant due to death of Congress corporator Pramila Patil. She was elected from Ward No. 21 (R-central Ward), which consists of Charkop area.

The caste certificate of Changez Multani, an independent who extended support to the Sena, is under dispute, but it won't affect the Sena's tally as party candidate Raju Pedanekar emerged second in the polls at Ward No. 62. Though the power equations are not likely to change immediately, it will surely have impact on the statutory committee elections next year and mayor election to be held couple of years later, said civic sources. Despite this, the Shiv Sena continues to maintain its lead in the civic body with 84 sitting corporators, two more than its former ally.

Elated with the win, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar made a teasing tweet saying, "Guess what new excuse our frenemies will offer Mumbaikars for this election defeat? Truth is easier, but bitter!"

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