Local body polls: BJP loses Nagpur, wins most seats

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Nagpur is the home district of party stalwarts Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

THE BJP on Wednesday suffered a setback in the zilla parishad (ZP) polls in Nagpur, the home district of party stalwarts Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari, while at the same time emerging as the single largest party with 103 of the 332 seats on offer in six ZPs.

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. Except in Nagpur and Dhule, in all other local bodies, no party has won a clear mandate.

While BJP emerged as the single largest party in the six ZPs, it bagged 194 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.

However, Nagpur came as a setback to the BJP with the party winning only 15 of the 58 seats. Congress bagged 30 seats. In Palghar, the Sena won 18 seats in the 57-member district body, three more than its previous tally of 15. The BJP tally dropped to 12 from 21.

The BJP, however, fared well in Dhule ZP, unseating the Congress-NCP combine. It bagged 39 seats in the 56-member Dhule ZP. While Sena got four seats, the Congress won seven, NCP three and independents three.  “Overall, BJP has retained its leadership, winning maximum number of seats. It shows people’s mandate is for the BJP, said Fadnavis. A senior BJP leader added: “Both in Nagpur and Palghar, the party needs to concentrate on in-house problems.”

Meanwhile, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) led by Prakash Ambedkar consolidated its position in its traditional bastion of Akola, by winning 23 of the total 53 seats.

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 Zilla Parishad. The Shiv Sena has won seven seats.

In Washim Zilla Parishad, the NCP bagged 12 out of the 52 seats, while the Congress bagged nine and VBA eight seats. The BJP won seven seats and Sena six.