The Congress has swept the Nagar Panchayat elections in Maharashtra, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finishing fourth. The results declared this week show that the Congress won a clear majority in seven of the 17 Nagar Panchayats that went to polls. The results of the Nagar Panchayat, municipal council and bypoll showed Congress winning 105 of the 345 seats. The BJP finished fourth among the top four parties by getting merely 39 seats. The Nationalist Congress Party was a distant second by securing 80 seats, while Shiv Sena earned 59 seats. Both the Congress and NCP leaders claimed that their victory was an indication of the growing disillusionment of the people towards the BJP government at the state and the Centre. “There is paralysis within the government. The farmers are driven to commit suicides. There is growing unemployment. The rural folks are completely dissatisfied with the government,” a Congress leader said.
The 17 Nagar Panchayat where elections and bypolls took place include Ratnagiri, Jalgaon, Wardha, Bhandara, Latur, Yavatmal, Raigad, Nanded, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Usmanabad, Hingoli, Chandrapur, Ahmednagar, Washim. Even in Nagpur district, the constituency of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP’s performance was far from impressive. In Hingna, NCP won 11 of the 17 seats, while BJP won only six. In Karanja Panchayat, Congress won 15 out of 17 seats. BJP won only two.