Pune: In a stunner, the Congress-Maha Vikas Aghadi candidate Ravindra Dhangekar bagged the Kasbapeth Assembly seat – ousting the Bharatiya Janata Party from its stronghold of 27 years – here on Thursday.
He defeated his BJP rival Hemant Rasane – who conceded defeat in the polls – even as the official announcement is expected soon.
Dhangekar’s victory is considered a major political setback for the BJP in what has been its safe seat of nearly three decades.
While Dhangekar secured 73,284 votes, Rasane got 62,244 votes as per the final tally.
In Chinchwad, BJP nominee Ashwini L. Jagtap continued to lead with a considerable margin over the Nationalist Congress Party-MVA rival Vithal ‘Nana’ Kate, and Shiv Sena (UBT) rebel Rahul Kalate, contesting as independent.
At 1 p.m, Jagtap had secured 67,500 votes over Kate’s 55,900 votes and Kalate’s 22,300 votes, at the end of the 19th round of counting – the halfway mark of vote-count spread over 37 rounds – and the final results were likely by late afternoon.
The two hotly contested by-polls were necessitated on account of the death of the sitting BJP MLAs – Mukta J. Tilak (Kasbapeth) and Laxman P. Jagtap (Chinchwad), in December 2022-January 2023.