The BJP on Wednesday suffered a setback in Zilla Parishad polls in Nagpur, the home district of party stalwarts Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari, while it was a mixed bag for the saffron outfit and other main parties in local body polls in other districts of Maharashtra.
The BJP won just 15 of the 58 seats in Nagpur Zilla Parishad (ZP), where the Congress bagged a handsome tally of 30. In further embarassment for the BJP, its candidate Maruti Somkuvar lost to Congress nominee Mahendra Dongre in Dhapewada, the native village of Gadkari.
Dongre secured 9,444 votes, while Somkuvar received 5,501 votes. The ZP's Dhapewada circle (seat) was with the BJP for the last three terms. The BJP, however, fared well in the Dhule ZP, winning a majority and unseating the Congress-NCP combine.
Polling for six ZPs - Nagpur, Akola, Washim, Dhule, Nandurbar and Palghar (332 seats) - and the Panchayat Samitis (664 seats) falling in their jurisdiction were held on Tuesday and the counting of votes was taken up on Wednesday.
The BJP, unseated from power in Maharashtra late last year, emerged as the single largest party with 103 of the 332 seats on offer in the six district councils (ZPs).
The main opposition party in the state bagged 194 out of the total 664 seats in Panchayat Samitis up for grabs. The Congress won 73 ZP seats and 145 Panchayat Samiti seats. The NCP got 80 Panchayat Samiti and 46 ZP seats, while the Shiv Sena got 49 ZP and 117 Panchayat Samiti seats.
In Dhule, the BJP for the first time won a majority. The party also won two panchayat samitis in the north Maharashtra district.
The BJP got 39 seats in the 56-member Dhule ZP. The party won Shirpur and Shindkheda Panchayat Samitis. In Dhule, the Shiv Sena got four seats, the Congress seven, the NCP three and independents 3. The district council was ruled by the Congress-NCP.
Since the last one year, the affairs of Dhule ZP were being looked after by an administrator. In Nandurbar, the results threw up a hung house with the key to power being with the Shiv Sena.
The BJP and the Congress bagged 23 seats each in the 56-member ZP. The Shiv Sena has won seven seats.