The Congress with 31 seats emerged victorious in the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) polls even though they could not get a clear majority. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which allied with Jan Surajya Party, won 29 seats and offered its support to the Congress after the results were declared.
The Shiv Sena–Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance was defeated badly despite its top leaders – Uddhav Thackeray and Gopinath Munde – personally campaigning in Kolhapur. The alliance bagged just 7 seats with Sena winning 3 and BJP securing 4. Shahu Aghadi, a local party, also suffered a miserable defeat as they managed to win just one seat.
The Kolhapur elections were unique in a way as for the first time the big political parties fought against one another, unlike previous instances when parties pitted candidates through local fronts.
In the past, Tararani Aghadi, led by Mahadeo Mahadik, ruled the civic body. However, this time Mahadik and Congress MLA Satej Patil decided to pit candidates on party symbol.
Unlike the Kalyan-Dombivli civic polls, which witnessed verbal duels between MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, the elections in Kolhapur were fought on the basis of local issues like clean water, roads and extending the corporation limits.
“The elections results show that people have retained their faith in the Congress party at the local level too, especially when it is ruling at the Center and also in Maharashtra,” said senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, who was overseeing the polls for the party.
Immediately after the results were out, NCP offered its support to the Congress. “We propose that Congress and NCP join hands,” said state NCP chief Madhukar Pichhad.
Congress leaders, however, remained tightlipped about an alliance with the NCP.