BJP, which is sharing power with the Shinde camp on Monday claimed that the alliance has emerged on top by winning the maximum number of sarpanch in 299 of 581 gram panchayat elections. The polling for 608 gram panchayats was held on September 18 of which 51 were already elected unopposed while voters cast their votes for 547 gram panchayats on Sunday. State BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule claimed that the BJP has become the number one party by winning 259 sarpanch in these gram panchayats while Chief Minister Eknath Shinde camp won 40 sarpanch posts.
In view of the passage of the bill in the state legislature during the recently held monsoon session, the sarpanch in these gram panchayats were elected directly by the people.
Gram panchayat results today have confirmed Maharashtra’s faith in the Shinde-Fadnavis government,” said Bawankule. On the other hand, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed that it was the beginning of major victories for the Shiv Sena (Shinde camp is a real Shiv Sena) and BJP in the upcoming rural and urban local body elections. ‘’Today’s election results have sealed the alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra. Shinde camp is not a faction but it is a real Shiv Sena while there is ‘’shillak’ (remaining) Sena (referring to the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction. Shiv Sena (led by Eknath Shinde) and BJP will jointly contest the upcoming elections in the state,’’ he announced.
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Interestingly, Sharad Pawar-led NCP came in second, Congress in third while Thackeray faction in the fourth position.
The State Election Commission on late Monday evening clarified that the gram panchayat elections were not contested on party symbols so the party-wise seats won in these elections cannot be given.
State NCP president Jayant Patil claimed the mandate was against the Shinde Fadnavis government as the voters did not like the manner in which the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was toppled.
In Nashik district of the 88 gram panchayats, NCP won 41, Thackeray faction 13, BJP and Congress 5 each, Shinde camp 1, CPM 8. In Pune district of the 61 gram panchayats, NCP won in 30, six were held unopposed, BJP and Shinde camp 3 each and local alliances 23.
Further, in Yavatmal district, of the 70 gram panchayats, Congress bagged 33, BJP 20, NCP 9, Thackeray faction 3 and local alliances 6. In the sugarcane-rich Ahmednagar district, NCP won 20 gram panchayats, BJP 16 and local alliances 9.
On the other hand, in the tribal-dominated Nandurbar district of the 75 gram panchayats, BJP won a record 42 gram panchayats while Shinde camp 28.
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