The Congress on Friday retained control over the prestigious Nanded-Waghala City Municipal Corporation (NWCMC), bagging a stupendous 73 seats in the 81-member body and decimating the opposition. The Congress not only retained hold over the NWCMC but also hugely improved its tally compared to 2012 when it had secured 41 seats, proving a major morale booster for the party reeling under a saffron onslaught.
The elections in the NWCMC, a stronghold of Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, were held on Wednesday. The BJP got six seats while the Shiv Sena and an independent candidate bagged one each in the polls. "With this one-sided victory in Nanded, the 'comeback' of the Congress and 'return journey' for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra has begun. The Congress has wiped out the BJP after our (Congress) recent victories in the Gram Panchayat elections," an elated Chavan told mediapersons. However, BJP state President Raosaheb Patil-Danve claimed the party which held two seats earlier (2012) had tripled its performance by capturing six seats. He added that the BJP's vote share had gone up from around 4 per cent to 25 per cent. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari termed the results as "victory for Ashok Chavan and not the Congress".
But, the biggest shock was administered to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Sitting on 11 seats in the outgoing house, the AIMIM claimed to have the support of the minority and Dalit voters, but the results proved otherwise. The Congress' ally, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), failed to secure a single seat.