After high drama, BJP wins Nashik mayoral polls with ease

Winning duo: Nashik Mayor Satish Kulkarni with 82-year-old Deputy Mayor Bhikubai Bagul on Friday.

Winning duo: Nashik Mayor Satish Kulkarni with 82-year-old Deputy Mayor Bhikubai Bagul on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


Party continues dominance in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, suffers slender defeat in Latur

While the mayoral elections in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations were no-contests, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested the post in the much-anticipated polls in Nashik.

Despite having a comfortable majority of 65 in the 122-member Nashik Municipal Corporation, the BJP was opposed by its estranged ally, the Shiv Sena. The attempts of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to also keep the BJP at bay, added an element of unpredictability to the contest.

The party even faced the threat of a split with 10 to 15 of its corporators, believed to be loyalists of former BJP MLA Balasaheb Sanap, expected to vote against the party candidate.

The polls witnessed high drama as the BJP high command moved its corporators to a resort in Sindhudurg to prevent defection to the Sena and a split in their ranks. Though six BJP candidates filed their nominations for the polls, the party did not announce its candidate until Friday morning. However, in an anti-climax, BJP candidate Satish Kulkarni (62) was elected unopposed. He even secured the support of five Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporators despite their party chief Raj Thackeray launching a bitter campaign against the BJP during the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections. Veteran BJP leader Bhikubai Bagul (82) was elected unopposed as the Deputy Mayor.

In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations, the BJP had swept to victory in 2017, establishing its total dominance. The party’s retention of the mayoral posts in these two cash-rich civic bodies was considered more than certain.

Putting up stiff fight

While Murlidhar Mohol was elected the new Pune Mayor, winning 99 of the 162 votes, Mai Dhore became the new Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor, securing 81 of the 128 votes.

However, the Pune polls saw the Sena, the Congress and the NCP join hands to put up a fight. Despite Mr. Mohol’s win being a foregone conclusion, Prakash Kadam of the Congress managed to garner 60 votes.

The BJP also retained the mayor’s post in Chandrapur and Amravati civic bodies, with party candidates Rakhi Kanchalwar and Chetan Gawande winning 42 of the 66 votes and 49 of the 87 votes respectively. In Akola, the BJP’s Archana Masne won 48 of the possible 80 votes.

The BJP, however, suffered defeat by a slender margin in Latur, where it had earlier held a majority. In the 70-member Latur Municipal Corporation, Vikram Gojamgunde of the Congress managed to pip Shailesh Gojamgunde of the BJP. Two rebel BJP corporators voted for the Congress candidate, taking the party’s tally to 35. The BJP candidate came close, securing 33 votes.

Meanwhile, the Congress retained the post in Parbhani with its candidate Anita Sonkamble winning 37 of the 65 votes. Her nearest rival, the BJP’s Mangala Mudgalkar, managed to garner only eight votes.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:30:38 AM |

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