BJP wins Mumbai's Bhandup bypoll, but Shiv Sena maintains lead in BMC

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Summary: The BJP, only two wards behind the Shiv Sena in Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has narrowed the gap to just one seat by winning a by-election.

While Jagruti Patil polled 11,129 votes, her nearest rival, Shiv Sena candidate Minakshi Patil secured 6,337 votes in the by-election in ward no. 116 of the eastern suburb of Bhandup, BMC officials declared.

But her daughter-in-law Jagruti Patil chose to contest the election on a BJP ticket. Earlier this year, during the BMC election in February, she had lost to Pramila Patil by a thin margin.

The by-election in ward number 116 was necessitated after the death of Congress corporator Pramila Patil on April 25.

With the latest victory, BJP's strength in the 227 member BMC increases to 82 while the ruling Shiv Sena has 84 corporators. Sitting Congress corporator Pramila Patil (pictured) from ward No. 116 (Bhandup) died after suffering cardiac arrest. BJP might look at playing the dominant role in the BMC if the streak of success endures; after Wednesday's bypoll, the BJP has 82 corporators in a house of 225.

In a series of tweets posted after the result was announced, Shelar also took potshots at the BJP's bickering ally the Shiv Sena. "I challenge Sena chief that we will have 84 seats in a few months, and Sena will fall to 83 seats".

There were five more candidates contesting the by-poll - Pramila Singh (Congress), Baby Sawant (Bahujan Samaj Party), Smruti Jadhav (Janata Dal-Secular), Deepika Jadhav (Sambhaji Brigade) and Vaishali Gajdhane (Bahujan Mukta Party).

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