The Nanded civic body polls is viewed as a litmus test for former chief minister and current state Congress unit president Ashok Chavan, whose father late Shankarrao Chavan, a former defence minister, had nurtured the constituency over years. The counting of votes for the chosen ward, Ward Number 2, will be done twice, once through electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the next time through the VVPATs.
The 81-member civic body is now controlled by the Congress. The BJP had won only two seats while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won 10 and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) won 11 seats. At Nanded, the Congress has won at least 12 seats so far while the BJP has won just one seat. NCP is contesting on 57 seats, Shiv Sena is contesting on 76 seats (73+3), AIMIM and BSP are together contesting on 49 seats, Samajwadi Party is contesting on 24 seats.
"The return journey for the Congress in Maharashtra has begun in Nanded".
The elections in Nanded were held on Wednesday, and the counting started at 10am on Thursday.
In a series of tweets posted after the result was announced, Shelar also took potshots at the BJP's bickering ally the Shiv Sena.
He said the people of Nanded had "reposed full faith" in the developmental agenda of the Congress and deserved credit for its victory. This had anxious the Congress.
Congress activists celebrated in Nanded, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.
The area is state party chief Ashok Chavan's stronghold, and over 60% turnout was observed on Wednesday.
Both the Congress and the BJP had made it a battle of prestige to wrest control of the civic body in the historical town renowned for the Hazoor Sahib Gurudwara, one of the five holy Sikh Takhts and the resting place of Guru Gobind Singh.
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