Party lags behind Cong-NCP alliance, Sena in Ahmednagar.
Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Dhule municipality elections single-handedly but Ahmednagar delivered a mixed verdict. In Ahmednagar, the Shiv Sena and the BJP contested elections separately. However, the two parties can stay in power if they form a post-poll alliance.
Despite contesting as an alliance, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were way below the majority mark. These were the last major elections in the state before the 2019 general elections.
The verdict here was clear that the BJP is still the stronger force in the state’s urban areas.
The Dhule election was a tough challenge for the BJP as its local MLA Anil Gote had rebelled against the party. Then there was the Congress-NCP alliance on one hand and the Shiv Sena on the other. In such a multi-corner fight, the BJP managed to pull the city’s votes on its own. It won 49 seats out of 74, while the Congress alliance won 14. The Shiv Sena and the Samajwadi Party won two each, the AIMIM 3 seats, while the Lok Sangram and Bahujan Samaj Party won one seat each.
In Ahmednagar, the other north Maharashtra city, the people delivered a hung verdict. The Congress-NCP alliance won 23 seats, the Shiv Sena 24, while the BJP won 14 seats here. The others won seven seats. The results here will force the BJP and the Sena to join hands. Their tally of 38 crosses the half way mark in the house of 68.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed gratitude to the voters of both cities. Congress state chief Ashok Chavan has called it a victory of ‘all unethical means’ used by BJP to win the cities. NCP’s state chief Jayant Patil has taunted the Sena over a possible alliance with the BJP in Ahmednagar.
Though both cities are from North Maharashtra, but the elections has once again shown the influence of BJP on the urban voters.
“Winning two important cities just ahead of an important general election is very important. Though they are on number three position in Ahmednagar, but that will ultimately help BJP to support Sena and keep it in good humor. The opposition has lost the killer instinct, whereas the BJP is showing it in every small and big election,” said Anant Dikshit, a senior political observer on the Monday’s results.