BJP’s Sandeep Gavai retains seat by a slender margin

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Oct 2017 09:45:26

Special Correspondent,

IN a nail-biting contest, senior worker of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sandeep Gavai won the by-election of prabhag 35 (A) by a slender margin of 463 votes. He defeated his nearest rival Pankaj Thorat of Congress. Gavai received 5,711 votes while Pankaj Thorat bagged 5,248 votes. Nanda Zodape of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got only 1,675 votes. Stunned over this result, the Congress party workers demanded recountingm but it was rejected by Returning Officer and Deputy Collector Shirish Pande.

Mayor Nanda Jichkar, Ruling Party leader Sandip Joshi, former Standing Committee Chairman Avinash Thakre, former Mayor Pravin Datke, Deputy Mayor Deepraj Pardikar, Standing Committee Chief Sandeep Jadhav, former Standing Committee Chairmans Bandu Ratu, Ramesh Singare and others congratulated Gavai for defeating Congress. The party has retained this seat that fell vacant due to sudden demise of young BJP corporator Nilesh Kumbhare. The votes were counted at Bachat Bhavan, near Hotel Hardeo.

The other candidates fared very poorly and their votes are as follows: Manoj Ingle (14), Vandana Jeevane (426), Gautam Fakira Kamble (668), Sunil Kawade (15), Shashikant Narnawre (130). 147 voters pressed NOTA against the candidates contesting the election.

In the first round, Gautam Fakira Kamble, an independent candidate surprised all by receiving maximum 477 votes surpassing Gavai and Thorat. However, from second round, the contest narrowed down between Gavai and Thorat. Gavai was ahead of Thorat in round 2, round 3, round 4, round 7 and round 9 while Thorat was ahead in round 5, round 6, round 8. Total 14034 votes were polled. Barring Gavai and Thorat, other candidates lost their deposit as they received less then 1/8 votes polled in the election.

Congress candidate Pankaj Thorat and Youth Congress President Bunty Shelke demanded recounting of votes to reurning officer. However, to a probing question by Returning Officer about any instance of discrepancy in the counting at any booth, the Congress leaders failed to give him satisfactory answer. However, when their demand was turned down, the Congress workers staged demonstration and indulged in sloganeering outside the premises against the election officer.