Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Nanded Municipal polls: Landslide victory for Congress despite BJP's all-out efforts

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Melinda Barton | 12 October, 2017, 17:25

The Indian National Congress looks set to retain the Nanded-Waghala City Municipal Corporation (NWCMC), and has now won 37 seats and is leading in another 29.

The counting of votes for the 81 seat Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation began at 10 am.

The 2017 elections outcome proved a huge setback to the Sena, NCP and AIMIM though some BJP leaders claimed the party which held two seats earlier (2012) had doubled its performance by capturing four seats. If the Sena withdraws support to the BJP, the Fadnavis government will be in a minorit and will need help from Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party or NCP.The BJP dramatically improved its performance in this year's BMC election from the 31 wards that it had won last time.

Of the results declared so far, BJP has won three, while Shiv Sena is placed a distant third, winning a solitary seat. Shiv Sena stood second with 14 seats while BJP managed to bag only two seats.

Samajwadi Party is contesting on 24 seats.

The Congress was expected to win a few more seats as it led in another five seats in the NWCMC, a stronghold of Maharashtra party chief Ashok Chavan. The counting of votes for the chosen ward, Ward Number 2, will be done twice, once through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the next time through the VVPATs.

For the Congress, winning Nanded is a matter of prestige so much so that Ashok Chavan has parked himself in the constituency to ensure a win for the party.

He said the people of Nanded had "reposed full faith" in the developmental agenda of the Congress and deserved credit for its victory. The voter turnout for the civic body polls stood at 60 per cent.

Congress activists erupted in noisy celebrations in Nanded, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis has led the BJP's high pitched battle for the civic body election.