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The Bhujbals triumph

Tuesday December 13, 2011 08:13:56 PM, & Agencies

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Malegaon: 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 district. 


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 power.


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 results. 










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