In a significant turn of events, the MahaYuti coalition, comprising the BJP, Shiv Sena (Shinde faction), and NCP (Ajit Pawar), appears to have seized the advantage over the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), a conglomerate of the Congress, NCP (Sharad Pawar), and Shiv Sena (UBT), in the Gram Panchayat elections. The results, encompassing around 2,950 seats from 2,359 Gram Panchayats in Maharashtra, were announced on Monday, following Sunday's polling.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, in response to the outcome, attributed the rural voters' verdict to those who had strayed from the ideals of Balasaheb Thackeray. He also expressed his belief that these results reflect the state's public sentiment and anticipate a similar trend in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, where the MahaYuti aims to secure more than 45 seats.
Praveen Darekar of the BJP claimed that the MahaYuti alliance had clinched a substantial majority of the seats. However, the Congress disputed this assertion, citing inaccuracies in the figures reported by the media.
Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar observed, "The people have shown their support for the MahaYuti alliance, which includes Fadnavis, Shinde, and Ajitdada."
Notably, in Baramati, Ajit Pawar's faction achieved a remarkable victory, securing power in 29 out of the 31 contested Gram Panchayats, with the remaining two seats going to BJP candidates.
Senior minister Chhagan Bhujbal highlighted that the opposition, even when combined, lacks the support of at least 50% of the votes.
Shrikant Shinde, the son of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, expressed gratitude to the public for their trust, emphasizing that the victory reflects the people's faith. He underlined the success of government welfare schemes in garnering public support.
In contrast, MPCC Chief Nana Patole contended that the Congress had emerged as the leader in the state by winning 721 Gram Panchayats, while the MVA secured victory in a total of 1312 Gram Panchayats. He asserted that the BJP and its alliance faced a resounding defeat across the state, including Nagpur, and issued a challenge to the government, urging them to conduct local body elections if they possessed the courage to do so.