Maharashtra elections: BJP heavyweight Pankaja loses to cousin, "weeps inconsolably"Last updated on Oct 24, 2019, 09:18 pm
In a shocker for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), party heavyweight Pankaja Munde has been defeated in the Maharashtra Assembly polls on her home turf, the Parli constituency in Beed district, by a huge margin.
Pankaja, who is the daughter of late BJP veteran Gopinath Munde, lost to her estranged cousin, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Dhananjay Munde.
Here are more details.
Did not expect the result, says Pankaja
According to IANS, Pankaja "wept inconsolably" after her shocking defeat.
Pankaja, BJP's sitting minister from Parli, lost to Dhananjay by almost 30,000 votes.
Speaking to PTI, she said she humbly accepted the mandate, however, added the result was "inscrutable".
She said, "I didn't expect the result, given the developmental works carried out during the past five years and the response I received from people."
Dhananjay counted on cousin's 'poor performance'
On his part, Dhananjay, the Leader of the Opposition in state Legislative Council, was counting on his cousin's "poor performance" to bring forth "change that's imminent."
Dhananjay secured 1.22 lakh votes against Pankaja's 91,413 votes thus far.
He thanked the people of Parli for their support, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Chhatrapati Shivaji's descendant Udayanraje Bhosale supporting his opponent.
Pained that someone in the family has been defeated: Dhananjay
Dhananjay said, "Heavenly Anna (his father) wanted to see me win. How do I tell him that his son has won and that too in Parli?"
Expressing that he was both "joyous and pained," he added, "Whether they consider me as part of the family or not, the blood relation never breaks. I am pained that someone in the family has been defeated."
In 2014 polls, Pankaja defeated Dhananjay from Parli
Interestingly, Pankaja had defeated Dhananjay in the 2014 Maharashtra elections by a margin of over 20,000 votes to retain the Parli seat.
In fact, even in the 2009 polls, Pankaja had been elected from the Parli seat, defeating Trimbak Munde of Congress by 36,000 votes.
Before that, she had worked in Parli with her father, the former BJP MP from Beed.
BJP-Shiv Sena alliance set to form government
The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has either won or leading in 158 seats in Maharashtra and is set to form the government. Meanwhile, the Congress-NCP alliance has won or is leading in 100 Assembly seats, an improvement from its performance in the 2014 polls.