Congress wins council seat

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Mumbai, Oct 23 (UNI) Congress candidate Madhu Jain today won the bypoll to the Maharashtra legislative council seat by a slender margin of six votes.

Ms Jain, sister-in-law of NCP heavyweight Suresh Jain, polled 144 votes, while independent candidate Suresh Havare, who was supported by Shiv sena-BJP, secured 138 votes.

The state legislative Assembly has an effective strength of 289, including one nominated member. However, 286 legislators exercised their franchise with three CPI(M) MLC'S boycotting the poll. Four votes were cancelled.

The election was neccessitated after sitting BJP MLC Navnath Avad, who is in coma, was disqualified from the House for not attending the proceedings.

Congress has a strength of 75, NCP 71, Shiv sena 56, BJP 54, JSJ 4, SBP 1, ABS 1, CPI(M) 3, PWP 2, RPI(A) 1, BRP 1, nominated 1, and 19 independents.

Congress-NCP-JSP are in the ruling DF government and have an effective strength of 150. Eleven of the 19 independents also supported the government.

On the other hand, Sena-BJP's total strength is 110. This clearly indicates that Havare, a builder, has succeeded in securing at least 28 votes from the congress-NCP camp, who could not maintain their flock together.

Madhu Jain was a last minute replacement for Subhod Mohite, the first choice of the Congress, who could not file his nomination due to travel delays.

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