Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre on Sunday said that he has sought a report into the defeat of party nominee Muzzafar Hussain in the Bhiwandi bye-elections, where Shiv Sena pulled off a surprise win.
Sena's candidate Rupesh Mhatre defeated SP's Farhan Azmi by a narrow margin while Hussain was pushed in the third position.
Thakre told PTI that the Congress failed to secure a win despite increasing its tally from 12,000 votes in the October 2009 elections to 25,000 votes in the bypoll.
"The number of votes went up. But, unfortunately, we could not reach the winning post. I will depute a team of state unit office-bearers to Bhiwandi to ascertain the causes of the defeat. The report is expected to be submitted to me in 15 days," he said.
The MPCC president admitted that the issue of "local candidate" could be one of the factors as winning candidate Mhatre is a local Sena activist. Hussain, who is presently an MLC, hails from neighbouring Mira-Bhayander town.
However, Hussain said despite the loss, he is committed to the development of Bhiwandi. "I have always been associated with the town and will continue it," he said.