Mumbai, Oct 10: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, registered a comprehensive victory in the first phase of gram panchayat elections in Maharashtra. As many as 3,884 gram panchayats went to polls in the first phase on October 7. Of these, election results of 2,974 bodies were declared on Monday. While the BJP won around 50 per cent of the gram panchayats, the Congress came at second, followed by Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Out of 2,974 gram panchayats, the BJP won 1,457, while the Congress could bag 301 rural bodies. The Shiv Sena secured 222 and the NCP got 194. The remaining sarpanch posts went to Independents and other outfits. The 3,884 gram panchayats that went to polls in the first phase are spread over 18 districts in Marathwada, Vidarbha and North Maharashtra regions. 79 per cent votes were polled in the first-ever direct election.
Although the BJP suffered setbacks in Parali in Beed district where the NCP and Buldhana district in Vidarbha where Congres registered the victory, the Fadnavis-led party showed an impressive performance in rest of the parts of Maharashtra in gram panchayat elections. The BJP had emerged the single largest party in the municipal council elections held in multiple phases during November 2016 and January 2017.
“People have shown confidence in the development agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji and our state government,” Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis was quoted as saying. “In Vidarbha and Marathwada, we have performed much better compared to the last elections. The break-through in western Maharashtra is appreciable as it is always perceived as a traditional bastion of the Congress-NCP,” a BJP leader added.
In the second phase, polling for 3,692 gram panchayats spread over 16 districts of Maharashtra would be held on 14 October and the counting will take place on 16 October.