The Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra has registered significant success in the local body polls held in Jalgaon and Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad municipal corporations. According to reports, out of 75 seats in the Jalgaon Municipal Corporation, BJP has won 57, while out of 78 seats in the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal corporation poll, BJP is leading in 39 wards and Congress-NCP alliance is leading in 28 seats so far. Shivsena has failed lead in even a single seat.
While BJP was already in power in Jalgaon, Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad has long been considered a Congress fortress. The BJP and Shivsena had a pre-poll understanding in Jalgaon, but the Sangli, BJP had decided to go alone. In this, the significant lead in Sangli is being hailed as a mark of success of Devendra Fadnavis’ leadership in Maharashtra.
Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad municipal corporation was under Congress leadership. Congress reportedly had 41 seats in the 78 ward corporation while Sharad Pawar’s NCP had 19. The BJP had no representation. Congress and NCP had declared an alliance before the polls here. Sangli is native turf for NCP leader Jayant Patil and Congress’ Viswajit Kadam.
BJP had won the Sangli Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and has won 4 assembly seats here. Since then the party was trying to make inroads in the local civic bodies.
In Jalgaon, BJP had 15 members and was in power with the support of local outfits and independent corporators. BJP leaders Eknath Khadse Girish Mahajan hail from here and it is considered as a BJP stronghold. Now with 57 wards comfortably under its belt, the BJP is far ahead of the Shiv Sena which has only 15 wards.
Amidst the chaos of the Maratha agitation and other issues, there was a strong speculation coming from many media outlets that the BJP has been losing grounds on local levels. But with a strong performance in local civic body polls, it looks like BJP is still winning the favour of the people.
Both the Municipal Corporations had a total voter population of 7,89,251. While Sangli saw a 62% voter turnout, Jalgaon had 55%. A total of 754 candidates, 303 in Jalgaon and 451 in Sangli were contesting in the elections.