Leaders of the constituent parties of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra said the alliance had achieved huge success in the Panchayat elections, for which the counting of votes was held on Monday, while the BJP claimed it had emerged as the single largest party.
As per latest trends, the BJP had wins and leads in 2,921 seats, Shiv Sena in 2,724 seats, NCP 2,673, Congress 1,905.
It is to be noted that these figures are not validated independently as there were no official declaration of results till night.
Though the village panchayat elections are not fought on party symbols, panels are fielded by political parties or local leaders.
Polling for elections to 12,711 gram panchayats was held in 34 of the total 36 districts on 15 January. Polling was held for 1,25,709 seats for which 2,14,880 candidates were in the fray.
Of the total 2,41,598 candidates who were in the race post scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations, 26,718 candidates faced no rivals, so they would be declared elected unopposed, the state Election Commission had said.
As per news agency PTI, about 1.25 lakh candidates emerged victorious in the elections held in Maharashtra last week.
As per reports, transgender candidate Anjali Patil was elected to the Bhadli Panchayat in Jalgaon district.
Taking to Twitter, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi's Prakash Ambedkar congratulated Patil.
"Being the lone transgender candidate in the entire state, Anjali took the struggle right from filing her nomination straight to victory," he said.
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" Prakash Ambedkar (@Prksh_Ambedkar) January 18, 2021
In Ahmednagar's Hiwrebazaar, Padma Shri awardee Popatrao Pawar's Adarsh Gram Vikas Panel swept the Panchayat polls while Kishore Samble's Parivartan Gram Vikas Panel lost its deposit, reported the Indian Express. As per the report, the gram panchayat elections in Hiwarebazaar were held after 30 years.
In Beed districts Parli taluka, the NCP bagged six of the seven panchayat seats, as per a report by Loksatta. Social justice minister Dhananjay Munde represents the Parli constituency.
According to the Hindustan Times, the Shiv Sena won six of nine seats in Kolhapir district's Khanapur, which is the native village of BJP state president Chandrakant Patil.
'Results in favour of MVA'
Leaders of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) claimed that the results were in favour of the MVA comprising the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Speaking to reporters in Pune, senior NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said, "As per inputs, the results of gram panchayat elections are good and are in favour of the MVA. Party workers of the Congress, Sena and NCP have clinched the victory. In most of these places, the Congress, NCP and Sena retained seats in their respective strongholds. I congratulate all these members for this success".
Pawar also said the overall (political) picture in Maharashtra seems to be changing post the results of Legislative Council elections held last year, in which the BJP had suffered a setback.
Another senior NCP leader and state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said in Nashik that the MVA has achieved a "huge success" in the gram panchayat elections as per trends and results.
"The Maha Vikas Aghadi has received a huge success in Gram Panchayat elections. It gives a message that all the three political parties in the alliance " Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party " are working in good co-ordination. The results of the Legislative Council polls held last month had also proved this fact," Deshmukh said. The home minister also asserted that similar results will be seen in future polls for municipal councils or municipal corporations.
Responding to a query, the home minister said the MVA government will continue to function not only for the next five years but even after that. "Opposition parties should stop seeing 'Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne' (day dreams)," Deshmukh added.
Another senior NCP leader and state Minority Development Minister Nawab Malik said the success of MVA meant "success of all".
Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat claimed that 80 percent of the seats in gram panchayats that went to polls were won by the constituents of the MVA. "The MVA alliance has won 80 percent villages in this elections while Congress alone has won 4,000 gram panchayats. This is a strong message to the BJP and its style of working," he said.
'BJP single largest party'
However, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, said, "As MVA parties have come together, we got a lot of space to expand. The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in the gram panchayat polls".
"Following a natural calamity, this MVA government has failed to resolve woes of the people. The poll outcome is a strong message to the state government," the former chief minister said.
The Aam Admi Party said 50 of its members won the elections.
@AamAadmiParty opens Maharashtra innings with half a century! 50 members have won in the #GramPanchayat polls. We contested just a handful seats and won in most. Congratulations to @AAPMaharashtra leadership. Well begun is half won.
" Preeti Sharma Menon (@PreetiSMenon) January 18, 2021
Earlier, Maharashtra Times had reported that the party won five of seven seats in Dapkyal village of Latur. Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted his congratulations in Marathi.
¤µ¤¿¤¥¤¤¥¤¯¤¾¤¤¥ ¤¹¤¾¤°¥¤¦¤¿¤ ¤ ¤¤¿¤¨¤¤¦¤¨!
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" Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 18, 2021
Elections to 14,234 gram panchayats were announced on 11 December, but in some local governing bodies elections were held completely or partially unopposed. Later, the elections got delayed mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gram panchayats are considered the third tier of governance. Elections for them are not held on party lines or using party symbols. Candidates are allotted election symbols from a list of free symbols.
Last week, the Election Commission canceled the election process in Umrane and Khondamali gram panchayats in Nashik and Nandurbar districts, respectively, after it received evidence of auctioning of posts of sarpanchs and other members.
The commission also said that voting for 162 gram panchayats in six talukas of Gadchiroli, a Naxal-hit district, will be held on 20 January.
According to a NDTV report, at least 14 villages in Thane district have boycotted the elections to press for their demand to be a part of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
With inputs from PTI