Anil Shirole beat his closest competitor by 3.15 lakh votes, a number that surprised even his own partymen
Pune: On the eve of the results, when mid-day had spoken to BJP’s state secretary Medha Kulkarni, she had claimed that Pune candidate Anil Shirole would win with a margin of around 1 lakh.
Anil Shirole’s supporters celebrate his landslide win in Pune. Pic/Mohan Patil
Even the party’s Pune campaign head, Pradeep Rawat, was not expecting Shirole, who won against Congress’ Vishwajeet Kadam with a margin of 3.15 lakh votes, to register such a stunning victory.
With 5,69,825 votes, the BJP MP has created history by winning with the highest margin in the Lok Sabha elections in the city. “In 1999, when I had won against Congress’ Vitthal Tupe, the victory margin was 98,000.
As far as I know, today’s margin of more than 3 lakh has set a new record in the city,” said Rawat. The BJP candidate managed to garner more than 50% of the total 9,93,267 votes cast.
Long time coming?
Even Congress veteran leader Ulhas Pawar confirmed that this victory margin is the highest Pune has witnessed since the first Lok Sabha elections were held, way back in 1952.
“A victory margin of over 3 lakh victory is something this city has not witnessed before. In 1952, Congress leader Kakasaheb Gadgil had won by a big margin.
But, if we consider factors like population and the number of voters at that time, the winning margin has never been this massive,” said Pawar.
The BJP’s win with such a huge margin will sting the Congress even more as Pune has always been considered a traditional seat of the latter.
In the 2009 LS election, Shirole had lost against Congress’ Suresh Kalmadi by a margin of 25 votes. “Out of the six assembly constituencies in the city, three are considered pro-BJP and the other three have a strong Congress presence.
But, unlike the previous Lok Sabha elections, this time a BJP candidate maintained a lead from Congress-dominant constituencies like Vadgaon Sheri, Shivajinagar and Cantonment,” added Rawat.
'Owe my success to Modi'
Speaking to the media, Anil Shirole said, “I am very happy that I won with a huge margin. However, I owe my success to Modiji, without whom this would not have been possible.”
Shirole added that he will address issues like river pollution and traffic congestion, which have been plaguing the city. “I will try my best to work on these issues in my five-year term,” he added.