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NCP wins Kej bypoll in Maharashtra

June 15, 2012 13:40 IST
The Nationalist Congress Party on Friday retained the Kej assembly seat, with its nominee Prithviraj Sathe defeating Sangeeta Thombre of the Bharatiya Janata Party by around 8,000 votes.

Polling was held in the Kej scheduled caste reserved assembly constituency in Beed district on June 12, after the death of sitting NCP legislator and former minister Vimal Mundada.

Mundada's son Akshay and husband Nandkishore Mundada were ruled out of the poll fray as they belonged to the Marwari community. The norms stipulate that the candidate be from the SC community by birth.

That led to the selection of Prithviraj Sathe as the party's candidate.

The Kej assembly bye-election was being seen as a battle of prestige between the NCP's Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and BJP member of Parliament from Beed and deputy opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde.

Over half a dozen NCP ministers actively campaigned for the bypoll, and Ajit Pawar also addressed a public rally in the constituency.

Munde and his daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve campaigned for the party, along with senior state BJP leaders.

Friday's result is a relief to Pawar, after the setback in Khadakwasla assembly bypoll in Pune district last year.

The BJP had won the Khadakwasla assembly bypoll in Pune district, with its candidate Bhimrao Tapkir defeating the NCP's Harshada Wanjale, widow of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislator Ramesh Wanjale, whose death had necessitated the bypoll.

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