Elections to 11 municipal councils across the Nagpur and Gondia districts saw an overall voter turnout of 67.36%, according to estimates from the State Election Commission.
Voting in the 11 councils started at 7.30 am on Sunday and went on till 5.30 pm. The votes will be counted on Monday. This is likely to be a Congress vs Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) contest as five of the 11 councils that went to polls have Congress’ majority, while the Nagpur and Gondia districts are overall strongholds of the latter.
A total of 1,190 candidates are in fray for 244 seats across the 11 councils. Like in the first three phases, elections were also held for the council president’s post with 92 candidates vying for the 11 posts.
The councils in the Nagpur district that went to polls include Kampti, Umred, Katol Kalameshwar, Mohpa, Ramtek, Narkhed, Khapa, and Savner. From the Gondia district the municipal councils of Gondia and Tirora went to polls.
Of these, the Congress has a majority in the councils of Kampti, Umred, Narkhed, Khapa and Savner in the Nagpur district and holds 73 of the current 235 seats across the 11 councils. The BJP has a majority number of member seats in the councils of Kalameshwar and Mohpa in the Nagpur district, and in the Gondia municipal council, overall holding 58 of the current 235 seats.
Sunday saw the last phase of the four-phase poll to 212 municipal councils and nagar panchayats across the state.
The BJP emerged as the clear leader in the first three phases and made deep inroads into bastions of the Congress and NCP and have a firm grip on semi-urban Maharashtra.
The four-phased polls were said to give an insight into whether the ruling BJP still holds sway among the public, amid Opposition’s barbs over demonetisation and corruption.
The elections were also said to indicate if the Congress and NCP, decimated during the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections of 2014, are still popular in Maharashtra’s semi-urban centres.