Maha Gram Panchayat Election: Big win for BJP with 3,190 seats in Maharashtra

The ruling BJP on Tuesday claimed a “historic” victory in the gram panchayat elections in Maharashtra, the results of which were declared later in the day. The party won 2,348 of the 7,751 gram panchayats where polling was held on 18 December. After counting ended, the party said it had won 3,190 seats, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena winning 842.

The NCP fared the best among the three Maha Vikas Aghadi allies, winning 1,287 seats. Congress got 809 seats, while Uddhav Thackeray’s Sena got 637 seats. The total number of seats won by MVA allies is 2,733.

This was the first local body elections after the Eknath Shinde-led coalition government came to power in June.

Earlier, all political parties claimed victory despite not contesting elections according to party affiliation. Citing trends, the BJP claimed to have won over 3,500 seats, while Shinde’s Sena had over 1,000 seats. The Congress had dismissed the claim as “false propaganda” and said that over 900 sarpanches were elected from the grand old party alone. A leader of Uddhav’s army had said that a large number of sarpanches (village heads) were being elected from his faction.

State BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule termed the election result a “historic” victory for the party, which he said showed rural Maharashtra’s faith in the Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government. He said, “The entire state is being saffronised. It is a historic victory for the BJP,” he told reporters in Nagpur.

State Congress chief Nana Patole, however, accused the BJP of running false propaganda about the election results. “The maximum number of sarpanchs, more than 900, were elected from the Congress alone and the number of sarpanch seats won by the MVA is far more than that of the BJP,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Shiv Sena leader from the Uddhav faction Ambadas Danve said that a large number of Sarpanchs are being elected from his faction.

Although the Maharashtra State Election Commission (MSEC) stated that the elections were contested by panels (comprising groups of candidates irrespective of political affiliation), the commission does not provide data suggesting the number of villages or seats won by a particular party. .

Incidents of clashes were reported from Aurangabad and other parts of the state after the results were declared. The brother of a winning candidate in Jamner taluka in north Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district died of a heart attack amid stone-pelting between two local BJP factions, police said.

“Dhanraj Mali, the brother of the winning candidate, was present in Takli Kurd village when the stone pelting started. He felt faint and died due to cardiac arrest. There were no injury marks on his body,” said M Rajkumar, Superintendent of Police, Jalgaon district.