Poll results in 10 municipal council, declared on Monday, revealed the ruling allies Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are competing as rivals for first place in semi-urban areas, with both bagging four councils each.
The Opposition’s strength, however, has dwindled. The results of municipal councils in Thane district, Nashik and Vidarbha were announced on Monday. They include Dahanu, Jawahar, Igatpuri, Trimbak, Nandurbar, Taloda, Nawapur, Kinwat, Chikhaldara and Pandharwada.
While both Congress and NCP have bagged maximum seats in four councils each, two have been won by local political fronts. The Shiv Sena and BJP, which had a limited presence in these councils, have been nearly wiped out.
The results point to an emerging trend in local self-government polls, where allies have taken up Opposition space and are competing as rivals.
The Congress, with 90 elected representatives ranks first, followed by NCP with 65, Shiv Sena with 22 and BJP with just 7. The Congress had led in 2007 also, with 72 elected representatives, followed by the NCP at 51, Shiv Sena at 28 and BJP at 12.
“The Congress has a clear majority in four councils and we have increased our seats by 21. Our party has emerged as number 1 in these polls,” said party spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Jawahar has been the big loss for the Sena, though it seems to have retained a majority in Igatpuri. NCP has wrestled Jawahar from Sena; Dahanu, Kinwat and Chikhaldhara from the Congress.
But the NCP lost ground in Nadurbar and Nawapur councils, with Congress winning all but one seat in the former and bagging 14 out of 18 seats in the latter.
“We have bagged four councils and are in a position to elect president in another council in alliance,’’ said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.