Mumbai : MNS retained the Nashik mayor seat with a backing from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) flaring up the speculation regarding new political equations in the state.

MNS candidate Ashok Murtadak was declared elected as Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) Mayor after he polled 75 votes defeating Shiv Sena candidate Sudhakar Bhika Badgujar, who secured 44 votes.

Independent candidate Gurumit Arjunsingh Bagga was declared elected as the Deputy Mayor. He polled 75 votes, trouncing his only opponent BJP candidate Sambhaji Shyamrao Moruskar, who got 43 votes, Patil said.

Three members – two of CPM and one of Jansurajya Party – remained neutral in the Mayoral polls. While four members including two of CPM remained neutral in Deputy Mayoral polls. In the 122-member NMC-MNS has 37 corporators, NCP-20, Congress-14, Shiv Sena-22, BJP-15, Independent-06, Jansurajya Party-02, RPI-03 and CPM-03.

In 2012, MNS with the support of BJP, had captured power in the NMC bagging 40 seats.

Advocate Yatin Wagh was the maiden elected mayor from MNS. Today’s polls were necessitated after the end of his two-and-half year tenure.

Last week, BJP snapped its ties with the MNS in NMC alleging that the Raj Thackeray-led party did not take them into confidence in some municipal works and declared its support to traditional ally Shiv Sena.

Congress and NCP joined hands with MNS in the last minute to keep out the saffron combine from coming to power and giving rise to many speculations ahead of the state assembly polls.

MNS who won 13 seats in last assembly polls suffered its worst loss during the parliamentary polls. Their vote share dropped dramatically and hardly any of their candidates could secure deposit. While some of the party workers feel that today’s victory in the MNS bastion Nasik can raise the moral of party workers, others feel that it might have an adverse effect party’s prospects in the assembly polls. That is the reason why senior party leaders said that much should not be read into today’s victory. “Our aim was to keep Shiv Sena out of power and we did that,” the leader said.

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