Maharashtra BJP continues winning streak, wins civic polls in Cong bastion of Latur

BJP continued its march in Maharashtra at the expense of Congress, winning a clear majority in the municipal corporation election in Marathwada’s Latur, along-time bastion of the the Grand Old Party’, on Friday.

Latur is the hometown of Maharashtra’s late former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Congress has held charge of the municipal corporation here for decades. BJP has won 36 of the 70 seats in Latur’s municipal corporation, with Congress bagging just 33 despite Deshmukh’s sons, including Bollywood star Riteish, campaigning for the party.

The elections were considered an acid test for the Deshmukh family, especially since they were fought under the leadership of the late Congress veteran’s MLA son Amit. In the 2012 civic election, BJP had not won a single seat in Latur, while Congress bagged 49, NCP 13 and Shiv Sena six.

The situation was better for Congress in Parbhani, another Marathwada city, where the party wrested control from NCP. In the 65-member civic body, Congress won 31 seats, NCP 18, BJP eight, Shiv Sena six, and Independents two. In 2012, Congress had won 23 seats in Parbhani, NCP 30, Shiv Sena eight, BJP two and others two.

However, the 66-member civic body for Chandrapur, led by a Congress-NCP coalition since 2012, in Vidarbha saw a BJP victory. BJP doubled its 2012 tally here, winning 36 seats.

As for others, Congress won 12 seats, NCP two, Shiv Sena two, BSP eight, MNS two, and Independents four. In 2012, Congress won 26 seats in the civic body, BJP 18, NCP four, Shiv Sena five, BSP two, MNS one, and Independents ten.

Hailing BJP’s performance in the polls, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “The BJP is creating history yet again.”

In this February’s polls to 10 corporations, BJP had pushed Congress to single-digit figures in many cities. Last month, BJP won the post of president in 10 of 25 zilla parishads.