BJP, Congress excel in Maharashtra civic elections

Mumbai, Nov 29 (IANS) Exceeding expectations, the Bharatiya Janata Party performed well in Sunday’s elections in 164 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats across Maharashtra while the Congress came second in the seats tally, as per official results declared on Tuesday.

The BJP also topped the tally in bagging posts of municipality president, with its ally at the Centre and state, Shiv Sena, coming second on this count.

The Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) recorded a spectacular performance by bagging 40 seats, Independents scored in 510 seats and local or regional parties cornered 305 seats, said an official of the State Election Commission.

Of the total 3,727 seats contested by more than 15,000 candidates, the BJP bagged 893 seats, followed by the Congress at 727 seats.

The Nationalist Congress Party fared less than expected by notching 615 seats and the Shiv Sena stood fourth in the seats tally at 529.

Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena notched a single-digit performance with win of only seven candidates across the state, in the elections widely touted as ‘mini-assembly elections’ after post-demonetisation.

The BJP secured control over 51 civic bodies, where its candidates were elected municipality presidents, followed by Shiv Sena’s 25, Congress’ 23 and NCP just 18.

Independent civic body presidents are 11, while other smaller regional parties bagged 19 top posts in the elections.

The elections to 164 Municipal Councils and Nagar Parishads spread across 25 districts were conducted on Sunday and the final results declared on Tuesday by the election panel.

In the keenly contested elections, the BJP virtually made it a prestige issue as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP state President Raosaheb Danve campaigned in many areas.

Shortly after the results showed a positive trend for the BJP late on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent congratulatory message to both Fadnavis and Danve for the good performance.