Pune: Sitting MP Shivaji Adhalrao Patil scored a hat-trick with his third time Lok Sabha victory from the Shirur constituency beating his nearest rival NCP’s Devdatta Nikam with a huge margin of 3,01,814 votes.
While the victory looked like a foregone conclusion for the Shiv Sena candidate, it was by no means a cakewalk as the NCP had decided to show its might in this constituency. Though the difference in margin between Adhalrao Patil and Nikam wasn’t significant in the first few hours of counting, by mid-afternoon it looked like the results would go in favour of the sitting MP. The margin started growing by later half of the day. By the 11th round, Adhalrao Patil had established a clear majority with 2,89,382 votes counted over Nikam’s 1,54,595 votes. By then, Adhalrao’s hat-trick victory looked certain.
Shirur Lok Sabha seat was formed after reorganisation of constituencies in the state. The constituency has 30 to 35 per cent urban and 65 to 70 per cent rural areas. The location boasts of pilgrimage centres including Bhimashankar, and places of historic importance like Fort Shivneri (Junnar), which is the birthplace of Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj.
Barring Hadapsar, where MLA Mahadev Babar from Shiv Sena rules the roost, the other five assemblies are represented by NCP MLAs.
Vallabh Benake, Dilip Walse-Patil, Dilip Mohite, Vilas Lande and Ashok Pawar make NCP’s hold strong in the constituency, at least on paper.
Shirur Lok Sabha constituency has six assembly segments including Junnar, Ambegaon, Khed, Shirur, Bhosari and Hadapsar. Most of the areas from the erstwhile Khed Lok Sabha constituency fall under Shirur barring Bhor and Mulshi.
The LS seat from Khed was known to be a traditional Congress bastion, but Adhalrao Patil pulled it from under their nose in 2004, after defeating NCP candidate Ashok Mohol. He has retained the seat ever since Khed became Shirur LS segment.