Pune: The results of the Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation elections declared on Thursday were an eye-opener for the BJP and AIMIM.
This has cut short the BJP's winning spree in various elections in the State. The Congress won the elections under its State unit chief Ashok Chavan, who is also the former chief minister. The Congress not only retained power in the civic body but also increased its tally by 28 seats.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and State minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar pulled out all stops to win the elections. The AIMIM targeted the Congress vehemently. Yet, voters from Nanded city returned the Congress to power.
In the 2012 civic elections, the Congress had bagged 42 seats, Shiv Sena 14, AIMIM and NCP 10 each, the BJP two, while independents and others got three seats.
When contacted, chief spokesperson of the State unit of the BJP Madhav Bhandari said the results of Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation is the individual victory of Ashok Chavan. It cannot be attributed to the Congress. “We had taken a lot of efforts to clinch the victory but the voters reposed their faith in the Chavan family,” Bhandari said.
"The BJP won two seats last time and It has secured five seats this time. So, it is not a bad scene at all," he added.
However, AIMIM MLA from Aurangabad Imtiaz Jaleel, who focused on increasing the tally of the AIMIM from 10 seats, admitted that his party did not do well in the elections. He held the local leadership responsible.
“The results of the Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation is a lesson for all parties including the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the NCP and AIMIM also,” Jaleel said. “The support base of the AIMIM is still intact, but the Congress managed to win over half a dozen corporators of our party, which had a negative impact on the party's prospects,” he said.