Maharashtra municipal polls: Congress holds strong in third phase, but BJP still leads the race

Call it an effect of demonetisation, but Congress seems to have bounced back in the third phase of the Maharashtra municipal polls. The party won eight council presidents and the maximum number of corporator seats in the third phase of the election. Congress left both the BJP and Shiv Sena behind in the third phase of the polls, whose results were declared on Monday.

A total of 409 seats were contested across 19 municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in four districts of Marathwada (Aurangabad and Nanded districts) and Vidharbha (Bhandara and Gadchiroli), of which Congress took the top position with 122 corporator seats and eight council president wins, followed by BJP with eight council president wins and 116 corporator seats, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with 77 corporator seats and Shiv Sena with 46 corporator seats. The other seats were won by local parties and Independents.

 Maharashtra municipal polls: Congress holds strong in third phase, but BJP still leads the race

Representational image

Congress holds strong 

In the earlier two phases, Congress was behind BJP. But in the third phase, especially in the Marathwada region, Congress candidates have managed a lead over BJP. While one may see the results as BJP going out of popularity due to demonetisation, BJP has in fact gained more ground when compared to the last election. The BJP jumped from 25 corpoartor seats in the last election to 119 in the current election. Though Congress is leading with 126 corporator seats, it in fact lost ground since it failed to retain the 150 corporator seats it won in the last election. So, as compared to the last election, the current election results show that the BJP gained five times whereas Congress failed to maintain its last figures.

Setback in third phase

Despite making gains, an analysis of BJP's performance in phase two and three with its performance in phase one shows that the party has been witnessing a constant decline in both the number of corporator seats as well as president seats in phase two and three of the municipal council and nagar panchayat polls when compared to the results of the phase one of the election.

BJP had won 51 of the 147 Council president posts that went on poll in phase one of the election on 27 November — just 19 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation scheme — emerging as the single largest party. The party had then said that the semi-urban population in Maharashtra had approved the scheme. It maintained its number one position in the second phase as well winning five of the 14 council president posts. But in the third phase, Congress which was lagging behind, won more corporator seats than the BJP and an equal number of council president posts.

BJP's ally Shiv Sena ran out of luck in phase three as the party came number four in the Monday results winning just 46 corporator seats, while NCP won 77 seats. Shiv Sena was hit in both Marathwada and Vidharbha region as it failed to open its account in the president post in the third phase of the polls. In two places Independent candidates won two president posts.

BJP remains number one

Even though BJP failed to leave a mark in Marathwada where Congress won the maximum seats, it maintained its hold in Vidharbha region winning maximum seats in Gadchiroli and Bhandara districts. And despite the setbacks in the third phase, BJP not only remained the single largest party in the municipal council and nagar panchayat election with 1,090 corporator seats and 64 council president seats while Congress has 894 corporator seats and 33 council presidents, followed by NCP at 785 corporators and 21 council presidents. Shiv Sena came fourth with 618 corporator seats and 26 council presidents.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 13:45:02 IST