The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has emerged as the winner in the 195 municipal council polls held over the last month. The final results of the polls, which concluded on Monday, saw the party led by Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar win 1,124 out of 4,246 seats.
It’s ally, the Congress, followed close behind with 1,112 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena have been relegated to a corner, with just 385 and 363 seats, respectively.
A clearer picture will emerge after the post-poll alliances are concluded, since smaller fronts and independent candidates together have garnered around 1,070 seats.
The allies, which have emerged as the principal opponents in these polls, are currently contesting each other’s preliminary estimates on municipal councils.
The NCP has claimed that it has won 66 councils clearly on its symbol. The Congress, however, has claimed that its ally has won 38, while it has garnered control over 45 councils, where it does not require outside support.
What the results have revealed clearly so far is that people in small cities and towns have favoured either the Congress or the NCP despite the strong anti-corruption campaign led by social activist Anna Hazare.
Going by the number of seats won, the results are also likely to cause heartburn to the Congress and hike the equity of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who was seen to have led the NCP’s poll strategy during these elections.
“The NCP has clearly won 66 councils, and if one considers our local fronts, the figure is much higher at 84. The results have revealed that the NCP, so far seen as a rural party has made inroads into the urban votebank,’’ said party spokesperson and MLC, Prakash Binsale.
The NCP has done well in its backyard, western Maharashtra, besides making forays in traditional Congress bastions of Marathwada and Vidarbha. In Konkan too, the NCP has emerged as the leading party.