The ruling BJP-Sena alliance suffered a major setback in the Nagpur Zilla Parishad (ZP) elections held on Tuesday. The candidates fielded by the saffron alliance were defeated by the opposition Congress-NCP combine after two BJP members switched sides. Earlier, the Nagpur ZP was controlled by the BJP-Sena combine and Ramesh Mankar of BJP was the president while Tapeshwar Vaidya of Sena was the vice president.
The defeat for BJP-Sena in the ZP polls has come at a time when the name of state BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who hails from Nagpur, was being tipped to succeed Rajnath Singh as the national BJP president.
This apart, the ZP poll setback has hit the BJP hard in view of the ensuing state legislative council elections from the local-self government constituency. Two BJP ZP members — Suresh Bhoyar and Rajkumar Ghule — switched loyalty to the Congress-NCP combine and paved the way for the election of rebel BJP member Bhoyar as the Nagpur ZP president and NCP nominee Nitin Rathi as vice president.
Bhoyar, supported by the Congress-NCP combine got 32 votes while BJP nominee Ganapat Raut received only 24 votes in a 57-member House.