The ruling BJP and other parties on Tuesday claimed to have won the majority of Gram Panchayats in Maharashtra in the local polls conducted after the Eknath Shinde-led alliance government came to power in June this year.
Similar claims of victory were made by Chief Minister Shinde, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress and Uddhav Thackeray’s party, although the election was not contested on party lines.
Polling for 7,682 Gram Panchayats was held on December 18. The results were declared on Tuesday. According to the Bharatiya Janata Party, party-sponsored candidates won 2,482 seats, while Shinde’s party won 842 seats.
The NCP claimed to have won 1,215 seats, while the Congress claimed the highest number of over 900 sarpanchs were elected from that party alone. The Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) party claimed to have bagged 639 seats.
The Maharashtra State Election Commission (MSEC), however, said that while the election is conducted by panel (consisting of groups of candidates, regardless of political affiliation), the commission does not provide data that suggests the number of villages or seats won by a particular party.
“Voting was held in 7,682 Gram Panchayats where 65,996 members were to be elected. 14,028 members were elected without opposition due to various local reasons.
“Out of 7,619 villages in the state, the election of Sarpanchs (villages) was unopposed in 699 villages. However, no application was submitted for the post of Sarpanch in 63 Gram Panchayats,” MSEC said in a statement.
After the results were declared, incidents of clashes were reported in Aurangabad and other parts of the state.
In north Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district, the brother of a winning candidate from Jamner taluka died of cardiac arrest in a stone-pelting incident between two local BJP factions, police said.
“One Dhanraj Mali, brother of the winning candidate in Takli Kurd village, was there when the stone pelting started. He felt unconscious and died of a cardiac arrest. There were no injury marks on his body,” Superintendent of Police M Rajkumar said. , in Jalgaon district.
Earlier, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule termed the poll result as “historic” for the party and said rural Maharashtra had confidence in the Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government.
“The entire state is turning saffron. It is a historic victory for the BJP,” he told reporters in Nagpur.
State Congress chief Nana Patole, however, accused the BJP of making false propaganda about the election results.
“The highest number of over 900 sarpanchs were elected from Congress alone and the number of sarpanch seats won by Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is much more than BJP,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Ambadas Danve said that a large number of sarpanchs from his faction were being chosen.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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