Notwithstanding the hue and cry over demonetisation and the recent protest morchas organised by the Maratha community seeking reservation, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored big in the elections held to the 164 municipal councils and 18 nagar panchayats across Maharashtra. BJP alone had won more than 851 seats of the total 3,510 seats, the results of which were so far declared. The party has bagged 52 posts of president in these bodies and singlehandedly won 22 municipal councils by winning maximum seats.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was party's star campaigner and had addressed more than 50 poll meetings across the state. BJP has successfully encashed CM's 'Mr Clean' image, while on his part Fadnavis outsmarted opposition Congress and NCP by reassuring the voters his government's commitment to achieve inclusive growth. Besides, CM has silenced his critics in his party and outside with BJP's stellar performance.
For the first time the civic body chief was elected directly by the voters.
Termed as mini-assembly election, BJP, which had won 122 seats in the state assembly election in 2014, has consolidated its position across Maharashtra. The party has substantially improved its position compared to elections held in these civic bodies in 2011 in which party had won mere seven posts of civic chief.
However, key losers were BJP state president Raosaheb Danve, cabinet minister for woman and child welfare and one of the aspirants for CM's post Pankaja Munde, water supply minister Babanrao Lonikar and the minister of state for power Madan Yerawar. They failed to show their magic in the elections held in their respective constituencies.
BJP's ruling partner Shiv Sena emerged second by won 23 posts of civic chief but came fourth by winning maximum seats in 15 municipal councils. Even though Shiv Sena is stepping its attack against demonetisation, especially by pointing out the difficulties faced by the poor and common man, the party had fought these elections in an alliance with BJP.
The ruling partners' combined strength bagged more than 80 posts of civic chiefs in these bodies.
Congress, which is yet to revive after its rout in the assembly poll, emerged third by winning 23 posts of civic chiefs but became second after its victory in 21 municipal councils. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) received a major setback as it came poor fourth by winning 19 posts of civic chiefs but ranked third by winning maximum seats in 18 municipal councils.
Thanks Sir!— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 28, 2016
You inspired confidence in people that our Nation is transforming.Mandate shows Maharashtra is with your vision of transparency. https://t.co/ljVtcJ4Ewo