The ruling BJP has emerged as winner in the just-concluded four-phase elections in 191 Municipal Councils and 19 Nagar Panchayats of Maharashtra, bagging 1,109 seats. It also secured the post of president in 71 municipal councils in the state. The elections were held for a total of 4,704 seats on November 28, December 14, December 18, 2016, and January 8, 2017. In the fourth and final phase of the polls held on January 8, BJP bagged 100 seats and seven posts of municipal council president.
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The elections to local bodies in the state was a major test for the over two-year-old Devendra Fadnavis-led state government as there were speculations that demonetisation and caste-based polarisation due to agitations by various communities for reservation, including the Marathas, may hit the party’s performance.
Congress finished second overall, with a total of 952 seats and 34 council presidents, NCP finished with 812 seats in total and also won 22 council president posts, Shiv Sena secured 612 councillor seats and bagged 26 posts of council president.
CPM won 12 councillor seats; BSP 17 and MNS 7. None of the three parties could win any council president’s post. As many as 16 Independent candidates secured the president’s post, while others won the post in 22 municipal councils.
The total number of parties registered with the State Election Commission (SEC) and recognised in states other than Maharashtra were 87, while there were 392 parties registered with the SEC.
There were 571 Independent candidates in the fray, while local alliances/outfits were 52.
Direct elections to municipal council president post was held for the first time this year.
In 2011 elections, NCP had won 1,300 seats while Congress had won 1,293. BJP had won 437, Shiv Sena 454 and MNS 61.