Rutuja Latke Wins the Andheri East Bypoll Election by 66,530 Votes out of the Total 86,570 Votes

Mumbai: On Sunday, Rutuja Latke, the candidate of the Shiv Sena party led by Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, won the bypoll to Andheri (East) Assembly seat in Mumbai by receiving more than 66,000 votes, followed by 12,806 votes polled in favor of the None Of The Above (NOTA) option, an official said.

Latke got 66,530 votes out of the total 86,570 votes. The NOTA gives a choice to electors not to cast a ballot in favor of any of the candidates in an election. Latke was set in opposition against six independent candidates.

The November 3 byelection, required due to the death of sitting Shiv Sena MLA and Rutuja Latke’s husband Ramesh Latke in May this year, was a mere formality after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew its candidate from the race.

This was the first electoral contest in Maharashtra after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed in June following a revolt by a segment of Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde. After the bypoll result came out in support of Ms. Latke, Thackeray said Rutuja Latke’s victory showed people were supporting Shiv Sena.

“This is just the beginning of a fight. The (party) symbol is important but people look for the character too. The bypoll results show people support us,” Thackeray told reporters after Rutuja Latke called on him at his residence ‘Matoshree’ following the victory.

Sena’s Ramesh Latke had represented the Andheri (East) Assembly seat in two terms. The Shiv Sena won 56 seats in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls. Ramesh Latke’s death in May brought its tally down to 55. In June, 40 Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde rebelled against the party leadership, resulting in the collapse of the MVA government.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress, both constituents of the MVA, supported Rutuja Latke’s candidature.

By Archana

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