In the recently concluded by-polls, the only good news which has come for the BJP is from Maharashtra. The BJP defeated its frenemy Shiv Sena in the Palghar Lok Sabha by-polls. The BJP candidate Rajendra Gavit, secured 2,72,780 votes whereas Shiv Sena’s Shrinivas Wanaga got 2,43,206 votes. The BJP narrowly lost Bhandara-Gondia seat to the NCP. This has been the fate of Shiv Sena since 2014, whenever they contested the assembly elections separately the BJP has defeated them. The BJP has beaten them in most of the municipal polls and in every by-polls. They even came close to snatching the BMC, which was unheard of. In the run up of the by-polls, the Shiv Sena was very vocal. The desperation of winning the by polls the Shiv Sena tried every trick possible, including the release of a twisted audio clip of CM Devendra Fadnavis. But in the end they got nothing out of it, once again Uddhav Thackeray and his ego suffered another defeat and eventually turned out to be the biggest loser of Bypolls 2018.
To add an insult to the injury, CM Fadnavis, the mind behind wiping the Shiv Sena out, extended them an olive branch after the by-elections. Fadnavis said, “A lot of discord has happened between the two allies during the elections. It was a bitter battle and we would be happy if it could have been avoided. However, from our end, the elections are over and there is no bitterness”. He further added, “We are ready for an alliance, but it cannot happen on its own. They (Sena) also have to respond. However, it does not mean that we are afraid. If we have to contest on our own, as we had to in Palghar, we would do it but it’s better for both the parties if we contest together”.
However, it seems Uddhav Thackeray is not willing to shed his ego. Instead of accepting the defeat and CM Fadnavis’s offer gracefully, he got indulged in giving lame reasons behind the defeat of Shiv Sena. He also objected on the counting of the votes. In fact Shiv Sena submitted a letter of objection and demanded recounting of the votes. He also threatened to drag the election commission to the court and asked opposition parties to boycott the election as long as the hoax controversies around the EVMs are not resolved. Thackeray said, “For the last several days and even on the election day, there were complaints regarding irregularities in EVMs. Does the EC even have control over the poll process? EVMs had malfunctioned in several places and people could not exercise their right to vote”. He further added, “I am not ready to accept this defeat because ‘saam, daam, dand, bhed (negotiation, money, punishment and division)’ were used to win the polls”.
— The Hindu (@the_hindu) May 31, 2018
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has rejected Shiv Sena’s claim of EVM’s malfunctioning. So, if there is one big loser after the latest by elections, irrespective of what the media might tell you, rest assured it is Shiv Sena and Uddhav Thackeray.