Consolation prize for Cong.

Wins Chandrapur by defeating BJP’s four-time MP

Over the past few months, it had been predicted that Chandrapur in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Vidarbha region would be an easy ground for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). On Thursday, Congress’s Suresh Dhanorkar proved it wrong by winning the seat with a margin of 45,012 votes against BJP’s four-time MP from Chandrapur and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir.

While the saffron alliance swept in Vidarbha, Chandrapur was the only seat won by the Congress. “When the candidate is of the people’s choice, a win is assured. I had predicted this long ago,” Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar told The Hindu. He said the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi divided their votes.

Mr. Dhanorkar, who belongs to the Kunbi caste, made a controversial entry to the Congress after quitting the Shiv Sena a few days before filing the nomination on the Congress ticket. While some predicted that his criminal record might hamper his prospects, some said people would refrain from voting a turncoat.

Seven to eight talukas of Chandrapur are Naxal-affected and the red cadre had given a call to boycott the elections. Political experts said anti-incumbency stemming from reasons including alcohol prohibition may have worked against Mr. Ahir. On the other hand, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s decision to hold a rally in Chandrapur may have worked in Mr. Dhanorkar’s favour.

Eight of the 10 seats in Vidarbha were won by the saffron alliance. While the BJP won five seats, its ally Sena got three. In Amravati, Independent candidate Navneet Rana defeated 71-year-old Sena leader Anandrao Adsul with a margin of 36,951 votes.

In 2014, the 34-year-old actor had contested on an NCP ticket, but was defeated by Mr. Adsul by over 1.3 lakh votes. Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s founder Prakash Ambedkar also faced a defeat by the BJP in Akola. He lost to Sanjay Dhotre with 2,75,596 votes.

In Yavatmal-Washim, Sena’s Bhavana Gawali defeated Congress’s Manikrao Thakre by 1,16,937 votes. In Nagpur, BJP’s Nitin Gadkari won against Congress’s Nana Patole by 2,13,127 votes.

In Wardha, BJP’s Ramdas Tadas trounced Congress’s Charulata Tokas by 1,83,209 votes.

Ramtek saw Sena’s Krupal Tumane winning against former IAS officer Kishore Gajbhiye from the Congress by 1,20,208 votes. In Bhandara-Gondiya, BJP’s Sunil Mendhe defeated NCP’s PanchabudheNana Jairam by 1,97,867 votes. BJP’s Ashok Nete defeated Congress’s Namdeo Usendi by 77,526 votes in Gadchiroli-Chimur while Sena’s Prataprao Ganpatrao Jadhav won against NCP’s Rajendra Shingne by 1,33,387 votes in Buldhana.

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