29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM

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Dhananjay Munde beats Pankaja on home turf in the APMC polls
Abhay Khairnar | Tuesday, 16 May 2017 AT 11:53 PM IST
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Pune: Opposition leader in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde beat his cousin sister and Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) polls in Parli on Monday. This is the third consecutive victory for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader in the local polls. This also sent a clear message that Dhananjay is a popular choice on the home turf in Beed district.

The cousins have been struggling to wrest power in Parli. Though Pankaja, daughter of the late Gopinath Munde, succeeded in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, making the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a winner, she later lost popularity in the home district.

The panel led by Dhananjay won 14  out of 18 seats in the APMC elections while Pankaja’s panel won four seats.

This victory put Dhananjay on a hat-trick in the local body elections. Earlier, his supporters won the municipal council, the Zilla Parishad and now the APMC elections. Pankaja is the Guardian Minister of Beed district and was initially among the contenders for the chief minister’s post.

However, she seems to have lost popular support. It is said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself orchestrated this victory for Dhananjay to ensure that Pankaja doesn’t grow strong.

In a press statement issued following the victory, Dhananjay stated that they won the elections against money power. The BJP-supported panel was using the money to win the elections. They even arranged picnics for voters, but finally, the NCP emerged

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