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HomePoliticsIndiaBypolls: BJP confident of retaining Maha LS seats

Bypolls: BJP confident of retaining Maha LS seats

The BJP leader also said that the lack of clarity on an alliance between the Congress and the NCP was another positive for his party

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Mumbai: Despite setbacks in the recent byelections in UP, Bihar and Rajasthan, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of winning the Bhandara-Gondia and Palghar Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, where the bypolls are due.

However, the Congress feels the recent bypoll were an indication of the “changing political scenario” in the country.

The byelection in Bhandara-is happening as its sitting BJP MP, Nana Patole, resigned from the seat late last year and joined the Congress. The bypoll in Palghar is necessitated due to the death of its sitting BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in January this year.

Also, following the death of senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam recently, there is a vacancy in Palus-Kadegaon Assembly seat in Sangli district also.

However, the dates of these byelections are yet to be announced.

In a major setback to the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the party lost the bypolls to all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur, Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh and Araria in Bihar.

Last month, the Congress defeated the ruling BJP in the two Lok Sabha and one State Assembly seats of Rajasthan in the bypolls. It also retained two Assembly seats in bypolls in MP.

Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant said there is widespread anger against the BJP, and of the bypolls in Maharashtra, whenever they are held, will not be any different.

However, State BJP spokesman Madhav Bhandari said the reasons for defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were different. Referring to Maharashtra, he said that in Bhandara- Gondia, the BJP has maximum numbers in Zilla Parishads and panchayat samitis.

There is anti-incumbency against Patole, who had won on the BJP ticket in 2014 but later quit and joined the Congress, Bhandari said.

Similarly, in Palghar, late Chintaman Wanga’s popularity and goodwill will stand the BJP in good stead at the hustings, he claimed.

The BJP leader also said that the lack of clarity on an alliance between the Congress and the NCP was another positive for his party.

However, Congress spokesman Sawant said the party will take along all “like-minded” parties and discussions were on in this direction.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik claimed there was tremendous unrest in rural Maharashtra over the faulty implementation of the waiver scheme, and due to the violence in Pune’s area, adding that this unrest will be reflected in the by-elections whenever they are held.

To a question on lack of clarity on the alliance between the Congress and the NCP for by-elections in Maharashtra, Malik pointed out that the SP and the BSP also stitched up the alliance at the last moment, just before the bypolls in UP.

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