Panchayat polls: It’s a major setback to MVA as BJP emerges as a single largest party

Panchayat polls

The Bharatiya Janata Party under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis has again proved that it’s the single largest party in Maharashtra by winning over 3,000 seats and more seats than any other party of the Maha-Vikas-Aghadi in the gram panchayat elections, held on January 15. The saffron party had also emerged as the single largest party in the 2019 Assembly elections by winning 105 seats out of 288.

Most surprising results were in Gahuli, the native village of late Vasantraol Naik and Sudhakar Naik, who served as the chief ministers of the state, where the BJP got all the seven seats. The BJP won 12 seats while Congress 5 in Koradi gram panchayat, the home of the state BJP general secretary Chandrashekhar Bawankule.

The elections to 12,711-gram panchayats in 34 districts in Maharashtra were held on January 15 and the counting of votes started on Monday from 9 am. According to reports, the BJP-backed candidates are leading on maximum number of seats in the panchayat polls, for which counting is still underway. So far, trends and results are out, the BJP was emerging as the single largest party even after the all non-BJP parties, particularly the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP tried their level best to block the saffron party for winning by fielding a united candidate in almost all the panchayat polls.

It was purely the meticulous election strategy of former chief minister and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis that the party got dividends in the elections. He was virtually camping in Vidarbha region for a week and supervised the election campaign to ensure the victory of party-backed candidates.

In Vidarbha region the BJP again emerged as a single largest party while the Congress and the NCP finished second and third respectively. In Nagpur, the BJP got 73 seats out of 129 while the Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates bagged 56 seats. However, in Katol assembly constituency, represented by the home minister Anil Deshmukh, NCP won 19 out of 20-gram panchayats. Congress grabbed 16 out of 17 seats in Patansaongi gram panchayat, the native village of Maharashtra dairy development minister Sunil Kedar. BJP claimed 12 seats while Congress 5 in Koradi gram panchayat, the home of state BJP general secretary and former Maharashtra minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule.

In Akola, the union minister of state for HR, Sanjay Dhotre-backed panel got eight out of 13 seats in Parsobadi area while the party spokesman, Girish Joshi claimed that BJP captured over 50 per cent seats out of 224-gram panchayats in Akola district.

The BJP also surpassed MVA candidates in Gondia, Wardha and Bhandara districts. In Gondia, the saffron party bagged 95 seats while the combined tally of MVA candidates was 78 seats. In Wardha, the BJP received 29 out of 53 while the MVA-led alliance got 21 seats.
The BJP which had received a major setback in Bhandara district in the 2019 assembly elections, however, bagged 90 seats out of 148 seats while the 58 candidates of MVA won the gram panchayat elections.

However, as usual the state Congress chief and Maharashtra revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat claimed that his party won the maximum seats in the elections and said that the BJP’s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil and former president Raosaheb Danve could not even retain the Panchayats in their own native villages.

The gram panchayats are considered the third tier of governance. Elections for them are not held on party lines, using party symbols. Candidates are allotted election symbols from a list of free symbols. But in this election, candidates have put posters and banners, showing the supports of different parties.

The election results also indicated that rural people, particularly farmers, are happy with the farm bills which were now opposed by the Congress, NCP and the Sena just for the sake of opposition. Moreover, it also showed that the people are not happy with the alliance government led by Uddhav Thackeray in Maharashtra!

Disclaimer:-‘संपादकीय’ लिहिणारे हे ज्येष्ठ पत्रकार असून त्यांचे स्वतंत्र मत आहे. त्यांच्या लेखासोबत ‘महाराष्ट्र टुडे’चा कसलाही संबंध नाही. आम्ही केवळ त्यांचे मत मांडण्याचा प्रयत्न आमच्या माध्यमातून करत आहोत.

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