Cross-voting mars ruling front win in Maharashtra council pollOctober 24th, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS
Mumbai, October 23 (IANS) Madhu Jain, the candidate of Maharashtra’s ruling Democratic Front, won the legislative council election Thursday defeating the opposition backed independent candidate Suresh Haware in a keen contest that saw a 32-vote defection from the ruling coalition. Jain, sister-in-law of heavyweight politician Sureshdada Jain from Jalgaon, received 144 votes as against 138 garnered by Haware, which worked out to 32 in excess of the combined opposition strength.
Even while expressing happiness over Jain’s victory, DF leaders were consternated over the large-scale cross-voting with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh saying the matter would be thoroughly investigated.
Though Deshmukh customarily expressed confidence over Jain’s victory minutes before the start of the election saying the opposition, Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine, won’t be able to win the election on the strength of money, the ruling front of Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had clearly reckoned with the possibility of votes from their stable getting defected.
The measure of the DF anxiety over mustering every singly vote could be gleaned from the fact that ailing Congress legislator Chandrakant Chhajed was brought in for voting by a helicopter.