Pune rural stays with NCP; all parties claim victory in Maharashtra
In Western Maharashtra, most of the senior leaders of all parties received a setback in the gram panchayat polls while in Pune district, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) managed to win 500 of 752 gram panchayats.
In the region, gram panchayat election results threw a mixed picture with each political party claiming victory. As the elections were fought without political party symbols, data related to individual party results in five districts did not arrive until the time of going to press.
In western Maharashtra, there were different types of combinations in panels. In some areas, Congress and NCP contested polls joining hands with BJP. NCP and BJP have also formed panels and contested polls at few places though, in a majority of the gram panchayats, Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress fielded common panels to prevent votes from getting divided.
One such combination was in Kolhapur’s Khanapur village where BJP state unit chief Chandrakant Patil suffered a setback. Even as BJP joined hands with NCP and Congress and fought elections, Shiv Sena managed to win six of nine seats.
“I thank the media for taking my village on the global level. While we managed to get three of six seats in Khanapur, the BJP has bagged maximum seats across the state,” Patil said in Mumbai while addressing a press conference.
Ganesh Bhegade, Pune district president of BJP said, “We received victory on 200 gram panchayats. We won a maximum number of gram panchayats in Maval, Indapur, Shirur, and Khed talukas.”
In Baramati taluka, which is a stronghold of Sharad Pawar and his family, the NCP won 48 of 50 seats until evening.
In Satara’s Karad, former chief minister and Congress MLA Prithviraj Chavan suffered a setback with BJP winning 11 out of 13 seats. At the same time NCP leader and cooperative minister for state Balasaheb Patil succeeded to retain seats in the North Karad area.
In Sangli, Shiv sena, NCP and Congress-Mahavikas Aghadi won a majority of gram panchayat seats. The panel of Mahavikas Aghadi is ahead in Sangli Taluka. In Sangli’s Mhaisal taluka, BJP defeated the panel pitted by NCP’s Maharashtra state president Jayant Pawar’s nephew. BJP won 15 seats whereas NCP got only two seats in Mhaisal.
In Ahmednagar, BJP senior leader, and former minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil panel has got defeated in Loni khurda gram panchayat elections. For the last 20 years, the Vikhe-Patil panel was winning elections in this area. On the other hand, NCP MLA Rohit Pawar panel has defeated BJP senior leader Ram Shinde in Chondi gram panchayat polls.
Emotions run high but police prevent celebrations
The Ganesh Kala Krida Manch near Swargate was one of the counting centres for the gram panchayat polls where votes from 45 gram panchayat in Haveli taluka was counted. The police and district administration had issued orders of no celebrations and procession during the counting day, which dampened the spirit of supporters of winning candidates.
As the candidates and their supporters went inside the counting centre, the anxiety of the others could be seen rising. As time went on, they anxiously waited for updates from inside. If candidates from their panel won, there were loud cheers. However, disappointment was visible on the faces of other panels.
Ideal village of Hiware Bazar sees elections after 30 years
At Hiware Bazar in Ahmednagar, polls for the local body were held after 30 years as some people decided to contest elections instead of allowing others to get elected unopposed, a tradition the village has observed for three decades. The hamlet has also won the ideal village award on multiple occasions.
Popatrao Baguji Pawar, who has been the sarpanch of village, recorded victory of his panel with a 7-0 margin. In 2018, his contribution to transforming an impoverished village was recognised with the Padma Shri Award.