Con­gress drubs BJP in Nanded civic body polls

Millennium Post - - NATION - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

MUM­BAI: Af­ter a year-long win­ning spree in lo­cal bodies elec­tions, the BJP on Thurs­day suf­fered a set­back in the civic polls in Nanded, home turf of Con­gress leader Ashok Cha­van, whose party bagged 69 of the 77 seats.

The re­sults for 77 seats out of the to­tal 81, have been de­clared so far. The BJP man­aged to win just six seats in the Nanded-waghala Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NWMC) so far.

Cha­van, who is the state Con­gress chief, at­trib­uted the party's win to non-tam­per­ing of EVMS and claimed that the BJP'S "re­turn jour­ney" has started.

Ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures re­leased by the State Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Ma­ha­rash­tra (SECM), of the 77 seats, the Con­gress won 69, fol­lowed by the BJP that bagged six seats.

The Shiv Sena just about man­aged to open its ac­count with one seat. An in­de­pen­dent can­di­date also won a seat.

"To­day's re­sults have proven that the re­turn jour­ney of the BJP has started from Ma­ha­rash­tra. Our ground work in Nanded en­sured that there was no tam­per­ing of EVMS, which led to our vic­tory," Cha­van told re­porters here af­ter tak­ing part in the vic­tory cel­e­bra­tions out­side the Mum­bai Con­gress of­fice.

He said the BJP had "poached" five to six cor­po­ra­tors, but all of them lost.

"There is se­vere dis­con­tent among the peo­ple due to high fuel prices, farm­ers' sui­cides and trou­bles caused to cul­ti­va­tors due to faulty loan waiver sys­tem. Peo­ple have un­der­stood the hol­low claims made by the chief min­is­ter (Deven­dra Fad­navis)," Cha­van said.

Leader of Op­po­si­tion in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil and NCP leader Dhanan­jay Munde said his party was sat­is­fied that "fas­cist forces" have been shown their place.

"This re­sult is a proof that peo­ple are fed up with the Bjp-led Cen­tre and state govern­ment. We are sat­is­fied that fas­cist forces have been de­stroyed, shown their place and a sec­u­lar party has won," Munde said.

NCP spokesper­son Nawab Malik said the "Modi wave" has sub­sided and that peo­ple have re­jected the saf­fron party's call of com­ing to power across the na­tion.

"The BJP claims it is a party with a dif­fer­ence. But it in­dulged in ev­ery pos­si­ble mal­prac­tice in Nanded civic polls, in­clud­ing us­ing money power and govern­ment ma­chin­ery. Yet, they were re­jected," he said.

Ma­ha­rash­tra Labour Min­is­ter Samb­haji Patil Ni­langekar, who was in-charge of the party's poll ma­chin­ery in Nanded, claimed that the BJP'S vote share rose from 3 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent this time around.

Known for his out­spo­ken na­ture, BJP'S new ally and Ma­ha­rash­tra Swab­hi­man Pak­sha (MSP) leader Narayan Rane ad­vised the BJP lead­er­ship to do in­tro­spec­tion on why it fared so bad de­spite the chief min­is­ter hold­ing many elec­tion ral­lies in the run-up to the Nanded civic polls.

He, how­ever, dis­missed the ar­gu­ment that the Nanded civic poll re­sults would have an im­pact on the 2019 Lok Sabha and As­sem­bly elec­tions.

The Nanded civic body has been ruled by the Con­gress, since it came into ex­is­tence two decades ago.

The BJP won 12 of the 16 civic bodies in Ma­ha­rash­tra, for which polls were held this year, ex­pand­ing its foot­print in the state's ur­ban pock­ets. It had made in­roads into tra­di­tional Con­gress strongholds and also those of part­ner Shiv Sena.

In the Nanded-waghala Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (NWMC), the party-wise strength is as fol­lows: Con­gress 41, Shiv Sena 14, AIMIM 11, NCP 10, in­de­pen­dents 3 and BJP 2.

BJP can­di­date Sandip Gawae along with Nag­pur mayor Nan­datae Jichkar and sup­port­ers show­ing vic­tory sign as they cel­e­brate their win in Cor­po­ra­tion elec­tion in Nag­pur, Ma­ha­rash­tra on Thurs­day

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