MAKING impressive strides in Vidarbha, the BJP retained its hold on the Akola Municipal Corporation and wrested Amravati from Congress. And in doing so, it won the absolute majority on its own in both corporations. The BJP got 45 seats in Amravati, up from 7 last time in the 87-member house. The Congress dropped from 25 to 15 and Shiv Sena from 11 to 7. But it was the NCP that was completely decimated. It drew a blank as compared to 18 last time, when it had shared power with Congress. The Amravati election’s biggest highlight, however, is the rise of MIM as a force. Fighting its first-ever corporation election, the party won 10 seats. The BSP won 5 as against 6 last time.
One of the main reasons for the NCP’s rout was the defection of prominent leader Sanjay Khodke to Congress. Khodke had recently lost to Ranjit Patil of BJP in the Legislative Council from the Amravati Graduate’s Council.
In Akola, the BJP won an absolute majority securing 48 out of 80 seats. The Congress dropped to 13 from its previous tally of 18 while NCP and Sena remained fixed at 5 and 8 respectively. The Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh led by Prakash Ambedkar came down from last time’s 7 to 3 seats. Independents and MIM respectively won 2 and 1 seats.
Akola had 80 seats this time against the previous total of 73. The BJP gained most from the expansion of corporation limits. It was helped by virtually rudderless and faction-ridden Congress.