Maharashtra gram panchayat elections: Shiv Sena, BJP claim they won highest number of victories
Both the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday claimed they had won the highest number of gram panchayats (village council), as results to the elections to 12,711 gram panchayats that went to polls on January 15 were announced. At the time of going to print, the Sena claimed to have won 2,908 gram panchayats, while the BJP claimed to have bagged 5,781. While the Sena said the election results were a mandate for the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government, the BJP said the results showed people support their party.
The three allies in the ruling Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) – Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party – have won close to 80% of the seats. According to a senior Sena functionary, the Sena has bagged close to 3,000 gram panchayats. The BJP claimed to have bagged over 6,000 village panchayats to emerge as the number one, party-wise. Although village panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols, parties claim victory on the basis of local panels formed by the candidates affiliated to them.
“The MVA has dominated the gram panchayat elections, with the Shiv Sena getting 3,000 village councils. This is the best performance of the Shiv Sena in panchayat elections. We will surely consolidate this going forward with the zilla parishad and municipal body polls,” a senior functionary said.
Maharashtra BJP chief spokesperson Keshav Upadhye, in a press conference held in Mumbai, said, “We had said that the BJP will win over 6,000 gram panchayats, which has come true.”
The Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece, took a dig at BJP saying that it cannot bring in “political revolution” in the state with “workers” like ED, CBI and IT department. The dig was in reference to Enforcement Directorate notice to Sena and NCP legislators.
“If this is not a mandate for the state’s Thackeray government then what is,” the editorial asked. “The Sena has prevailed in Konkan region, but there were setbacks at some places,” the editorial said, referring to loss of some gram panchayats in Sena bete-noire Narayan Rane’s village in Sindhudurg district.
It added that the BJP leaders faced defeat at their home ground, including Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil who lost Loni Khurd in Ahmednagar after 20 years. BJP MP Raosaheb Danve lost at Bhokardan in Jalna.
At Chondi gram panchayat, former BJP minister Ram Shinde suffered a setback as NCP MLA Rohit Pawar’s panel won seven out of nine seats.