Mumbai: Even as Congress is “surprised” at the electoral success of BJP in rural and semi rural areas for Municipal Council and Nagar Panchayat polls in Maharashtra, the NCP today said the number of seats won by the combined opposition (Congress-NCP) is more than that of the ruling party.
“In rural and semi rural areas, BJP was not ever close to the Congress. But, now there is not much difference in the tally.. difference of about 25 to 30 seats. The inroads made by BJP in these areas is surprising. The reason can be the fact that BJP is the single largest party in the Legislative Assembly and leads the government,” Congress spokesperson Ratnakar Mahajan said.
“The general trend is to support the party in power. Another reason can be the organisation of secular parties is not as strong to garner votes,” he said. As per the State Election Commission – BJP has won 254, Congress 239, NCP 201, Shiv Sena 126 seats out of the 1024 seats for 71 Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats which went to polls on November 1.
However, Congress said it has won 245, BJP 241, Shiv Sena 108 and NCP 194. Mahajan further said BJP’s inroads in rural and semi rural Maharashtra would be discussed in the Congress meeting to analyse the poll results and prepare for the next round of local body elections. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Congress had done exceedingly well in Vidarbha while NCP was the leading party in Marathwada.
“BJP’s top leaders in the state came from these regions and the opposition Congress-NCP had done well,” he said. Malik further said, “If figures show BJP has single largest party, the combined opposition strength of congress and NCP is more than that of BJP and Sena. This speaks volumes about what people think of the performance of the Congress-NCP”
Meanwhile, Mahajan also said Shiv Sena’s success in the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) showed the party was still influential in the Mumbai, Thane belt. Shiv Sena emerged as the single largest party in the KDMC bagging 52 seats while BJP improved its previous tally of 9 by clinching 42 seats.