Mumbai: The Congress on Thursday made a clean sweep in the Nanded-Waghala municipal corporation elections, winning 49 of the 54 seats for which results were declared.
The counting of votes is underway for the high stakes Nanded Municipal Corporation Election.
BJP, which tried its best to shake the Congress's position, managed to lead in just five seats.
The Bhandup by-poll assumed significance for both the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as both are leaving no stone unturned to become the single largest party in the BMC. Last time, the grand old party had won 41 of the 81 seats, Shiv Sena had secured 12 with AIMIM winning 11.
The Shiv Sena leaders had ridiculed the BJP during the Bhandup by-election campaign.
The Nanded civic body polls is viewed as a litmus test for former chief minister and current state Congress unit president Ashok Chavan, whose father late Shankarrao Chavan, a former defence minister, had nurtured the constituency over years.
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The 81-member civic body is now controlled by the Congress.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) the two parties contesting the election in alliance are likely to win a total of 10 seats, the exit polls said. This had anxious the Congress.
Meanwhile, reacting to the overwhelming results, the Maharashtra unit of the Congress said that the return journey for Congress in Maharashtra has begun. "The Congress wipes out BJP", an elated Chavan tweeted.
Congress that is now ruling the civic body is seeking to retain it while the BJP, that has been thumping all other parties in most local body polls is seeking to seize power in Nanded.
For the first time in Maharashtra, the SEC deployed VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) voting machines in 31 polling centres in Ward No 2 as a pilot project in the elections which recorded a 65 per cent turnout. Devendra Fadnavis has led the BJP's high pitched battle for the civic body election.
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