Public works minister and guardian minister of Nashik, Chhagan Bhujbal, proved his political supremacy in Nashik on Thursday with his party's landslide victory in the by-polls to the Legislative Council held on February 28.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate and Bhujbal confidante Jayant Jadhav got 350 votes against Shiv Sena’s Nivruti Jadhav, who got 72 votes.
The by-polls were held because NCP member of Legislative Council Vasant Pawar died last year. The victory is being seen as Bhujbal showcasing his clout in his hometown.
Bhujbal’s nephew, Sameer, was elected to the Parliament from Nashik in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, while his son, Pankaj, was elected as a MLA from Nandgaon in the Assembly polls held that year.
“I would attribute the victory to the fact that we nominated a genuine, hard-working grassroots candidate instead of someone with money or muscle power,” said Sameer.
Bhujbal picked Jadhav, a Maratha, to beat the anti-Bhujbal clamour from the Maratha lobby. Sameer, however, said the party chose Jadhav for his performance and not to appease anyone.
Sameer had to face a nasty campaign during the Lok Sabha polls with Maratha politicians across parties, including the NCP, ganging up against him.