ALSO READCongress set to retain Nanded municipal poll, wins 15 seats MCD Elections 2017 LIVE: 39% polling till 4 pm, Kejriwal cries foul on EVMs MCD election 2017: Polling ends, turnout recorded at 54% BJP will win Delhi civic polls, AAP will be second: Survey West Bengal municipal polls result: Mamata Banerjee's TMC set to win
The Congress was expected to win a few more seats as it led in another five seats in the NWCMC, a stronghold of Maharashtra party chief Ashok Chavan. Elections to the civic body were held on Wednesday.
The Congress not only retained the civic body but also hugely improved its tally compared to 2012 when it secured 41 seats, proving a major morale-booster for the party reeling under a saffron onslaught.
He said the people of Nanded had "reposed full faith" in the developmental agenda of the Congress and deserved credit for its victory.
The opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged four seats while its ruling ally in the centre and the state, Shiv Sena, got just a single seats. An independent candidate also got one seat.
Another prominent contender, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), was overwhelmed by the Congress juggernaut and finally lost the race in this famed Sikh pilgrimage centre.
Similarly, the Congress' ally, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), failed to secure a single seat, a State Election Commission (SEC) official said.
The 2017 elections outcome proved a huge setback to the Sena, NCP and AIMIM though some BJP leaders claimed the party which held two seats earlier (2012) had doubled its performance by capturing four seats.
Another NDA ally, Maharashtra Swabhiman Party President Narayan Rane, minced no words in criticizing the BJP-Sena saying they should do "serious introspection and soul-searching" in the wake of the Nanded result.
"The Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) and Shiv Sena President (Uddhav Thackeray) personally held so many election rallies. And this is what they got? Their leadership must carry out a serious introspection and soul-searching."
Congress activists celebrated in Nanded, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.
Both the Congress and the BJP had made it a battle of prestige to wrest control of the civic body in the historical town renowned for the Hazoor Sahib Gurudwara, one of the five holy Sikh Takhts and the resting place of Guru Gobind Singh.
For the first time in Maharashtra, the SEC deployed VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) voting machines in 31 polling centres in Ward No 2 as a pilot project in the elections which recorded a 65 per cent turnout.
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