(Maharashtra): In a significant morale-booster, the
Congress Monday retained the Nanded Municipal Corporation winning
enough seats to rule the civic body on its own. But Hyderabad
based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) stunned
political circles by stopping the Congress from total sweep.
The Congress bagged 41 out of the total 81 seats in Nanded
Municipal Corporation, up from 37 in the outgoing house which it
administered with the support of some independents.
In another attention-grabber, Hyderabad-based AIMIM, which had
contested 25 seats, made an impressive inroads to Maharashtra by
winning 13 seats.
Sultan Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM MP
from Hyderabad, who vigorously campaigned for his candidates, used
the anti-Congress plank, saying that the Congress had consistently
ignored the Muslim community except using it as a vote bank.
Most of the 13 seats AIMIM won are
from Deglur Naka - the area considered as the Congress stronghold.
AIMIM sweeps the area by winning all the 7 seats of the area.
Nanded is the hometown and base of former chief minister Ashok
Chavan, who was forced to quit his post two years ago after his
name was embroiled in the Adarsh Society scam in Mumbai.
Chavan has been credited as the architect behind the party's
unexpected showing in the hotly-contested elections held Sunday,
prompting state party chief Manikrao Thakre to thump his (Chavan's)
"It was good team-work and it's the Congress's victory. The
charges against Ashok Chavan are yet to be proved," Thakre told
the media Monday evening.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) allied with the Congress at
the state and centre, contested the elections alone and bagged 10
The Shiv Sena secured 14 seats and its ally, the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) won two seats, while the Republican Party of India
failed to open its account.
A relieved Chavan magnanimously gave the credit for the party's
huge win to "teamwork" among the grassroots workers and
"inspiration and stress on the developmental issues by our leader
NCP leader Pratap Chikhlikar countered Ashok Chavan's claims by
alleging the Congress had used "money power" to win the elections.
Ashok Chavan, who has maintained a low profile after being forced
to quit, has been quietly strengthening his position in Nanded and
the backward Marathwada region, hoping to become an alternative to
former union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who passed away two months
The poll outcome is expected to hasten the rehabilitation of Ashok
The Nanded elections saw campaigning by top Congress leaders like
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao
Thakre, Industry Minister Narayan Rane, other leaders and
From the NCP side, former deputy chief minister and senior leader
Ajit Pawar and other top officials had wooed the voters.
From the opposition's side, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav
Thackeray, his son Aditya and BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Vinod
Tawde had also campaigned for the elections.
The opposition's poll issues, including the Adarsh Society scam,
the mining scam and corruption, apparently failed to cut ice with
the voters who stuck to the Congress.
Nanded, with a significant Sikh population, is home to the revered
shrine Takhat Sri Hazoor Sahib, where the tenth guru, Guru Gobind
Singh had breathed his last.