Mumbai (The Hindu): The Congress party fared better in the third phase of the ongoing local body elections in Maharashtra, but the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) continued its domination in the Vidarbha area of the state by winning five out of six posts of the president of nagar panchayats and municipal councils in the region.
The third phase of election involved 19 municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in Nanded, Aurgnagbad, Bhandara, and Gadchiroli district. Out of 409 seats that went to the polls on Sunday, the Congress won 126 seats and the BJP stood second with 119 seats. The Nationalist Congress Party was at the third position with 79 seats whereas the BJP’s coalition partner Shiv Sena could win only 48 seats to secure the fourth position.
The Congress and the BJP were neck to neck in the election for the post of “Nagaradhyaksha” (president of the Municipal councils) in the third phase by winning eight seats each. While the NCP won one, Shiv Sena drew a blank.
The Congress dominated in Nanded district, the home district of state Congress president Ashok Chavan by winning six posts of the ‘Nagaradhyaksha’. But the BJP continued its domination in Vidarbha region by winning five out of six posts.
The Congress claimed it had emerged as the biggest party in the third phase by securing 126 seats and eight posts of nagaradhyaksha (president of nagar panchayats) and accused the BJP of using “money and muscle power” during the elections.
“The success of the BJP involves the use of money and muscle power which was visible when its state chief Ravsaheb Danve said so publicly. The Congress has got 899 cooperators and 34 nagaradhyakshas elected in the first three phases and has emerged as the biggest party in the state,” said Mr. Chavan.
The BJP called its win in Vidarbha as a “mandate for the work done by Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and for demonetisation.” BJP MLC Girish Vyas said, “The people have trusted us and given us a mandate for the good work done by the Centre and the State governments despite negative propaganda by the Opposition.”
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