Congress leads in Maharashtra civic polls' first round
emerged the front runner in the results declared for 132 municipal
councils in the first round of local bodies' elections in
Maharashtra, party leaders said Monday. "Currently, Congress is
leading by capturing
As Maharashtra completed the first round of civic elections with
the Cong-NCP combine stamping a convincing victory, the one
district results of which were keenly awaited by friends and foes
alike was Nashik. For, here the elections were fought not only
among the known rivals but an infighting was also on among those in Cong and NCP
both to show their own strength.
Consequently, while Cong tried hard
to defeat NCP - its partner in the government at the state, a
strong section in NCP left no stone unturned to use the
opportunity to reduce the rising clout of the Bhujbals - the trio
comprising Sr Bhujbal, as Nashik Guardian Minister Chagan Bhujbal
is known in the region, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer, in Nashik
However, the tone set by the Bhujbals in
the run-up to the elections and
even before a single vote was caste by managing elections of five
and three of their nominees unopposed in Yeola and Manmad civic
bodies respectively only became louder as the EVMs flashed the
poll results December 12.
At the end, while Shiv-Sena BJP
combine, which was banking on the infighting in the ruling
alliance for its success left stunned, Bhujbal detractors in the
NCP were unable to find a place to hide their dismay.
And what a convincing victory
the Bhujbals registered despite all odds and albeit facing opposition
from their own party men!
In Yeola, the place, Chagan Bhujbal chose to build
his bastion after winning the assembly elections in 2004, five of
his men were in the house even before elections. They were winners
unopposed. After the elections, 16 of his men won - a complete
sweep in a house of 23. Such was the Bhujbal wave in Yeola that
Congress, which despite being NCP's partner at the state
chose to fight elections alone, could win just one seat while the BJP could win just three.
Similar was the situation in
neighboring Nandgaon and Manmad civic bodies. While in Nandgaon,
which is represented by Chagan Bhujbal's son Pankaj in the
state assembly, NCP led by Bhujbals won 14 out of 17 seats, in
Manmad they wrested power by winning 14 out of 29 seats. Here Sena
men were caught with cash just ahead of the elections. But nothing
worked in their favour and Sena could win just 7. The Cong which
won in the last elections could win only 5.
Likewise is the case in Satana where
NCP won 10 out of 19 seats - a comfortable tally to claim the
In Sinnar where Congress stalwart
Manikrao Kokate and Bhujbals both used their might to rest control
of the civic body, Cong emerged victorious winning 14 our of the
total 23 seats.
However, despite the loss of Sinnar
Civic Body, the strong show by the Bhujbals in four out of the six
municipal councils which went to polls in the first round of
the elections in Maharashtra is enough to suggest that all efforts by
the Bhujbal detractors to reduce their clout in the Nashik district have
failed and the Bhujbals have only emerged stronger after the poll