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BJP’s ‘use and throw’ policy behind its defeat in Kasba Assembly bypoll, says Uddhav

Mumbai: Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost the bypoll to the Kasba Peth Assembly constituency in Maharashtra’s Pune city because of its “use and throw” policy.

The ruling BJP on Thursday failed to retain the Kasba seat, its stronghold, as Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar defeated the saffron party nominee Hemant Rasane in the bypoll. The BJP held this Assembly segment for 28 years. Girish Bapat, the current BJP MP from Pune, represented the seat five times till 2019.

Dhangekar polled 73,194 votes while Rasane received 62,244 votes, as per figures provided by the Election Commission.

Speaking to reporters on the election results, Thackeray said, “I am happy that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) candidate has won the Kasba Peth assembly segment. It is the outcome of the BJP’s policy of use and throw. They treated us this way and now even ticket was not given to a family member of late MLA Mukta Tilak.”

In 2019, BJP’s Tilak had won the seat. She died after battling cancer in December 2022, which necessitated the by-election in the constituency.

“They made MP Girish Bapat take part in the campaign although he was extremely sick. They want sympathy but very selectively. The voters do not accept this kind of behaviour,” he said.

When asked about Chief Minister Eknath Shinde calling opposition leaders anti-nationals, he said, “Opposition leaders were invited (to the tea party hosted on the eve of the legislature session on Sunday) by the chief minister himself. Had the opposition parties attended the tea party, would he have still called them anti-nationals?”

On Sunday, on the eve of the Budget session of the state legislature, the opposition had boycotted the customary tea party hosted by CM Shinde. Later, referring to the opposition’s boycott, Shinde said it saved him from having tea with “anti-nationals”. He had said it was good that the opposition members did not turn up for the tea party as some of them have ties with terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

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