BJP, ri­vals pre­pare for ru­ral Maha show­down

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Suren­dra P Gan­gan suren­dra.gan­gan@hin­dus­tan­

MUM­BAI: It isn’t just the civic polls in Mum­bai and other cities that po­lit­i­cal par­ties are busy pre­par­ing for, as plans are be­ing made to win man­date even in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra. Be­gin­ning Oc­to­ber, elec­tions will be held for 26 zilla parishads (ZP), or dis­trict coun­cils, which look af­ter lo­cal gover­nance in ru­ral ar­eas across the five re­gions of Ma­ha­rash­tra. The state elec­tion com­mis­sion on Fri­day started the pro­ce­dure to con­duct the elec­tions.

While the NCP and the Con­gress rule ma­jor­ity of the ZPs in the state, the rul­ing BJP is plan­ning to in­crease its strength at the ru­ral level. The out­come of the ZP elec­tions will show whether the party has suc­ceeded in es­tab­lish­ing it­self in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra.

Ear­lier this year, the BJP gov­ern­ment pre­sented the an­nual bud­get, which fo­cused on ru­ral ar­eas and farm­ers. >> CON­TIN­UED ON P8

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