The ruling alliance of the BJP and the Ekanth Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena, as well as the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), have both claimed victory in the just concluded elections to gram panchayats in Maharashtra.
After results were declared of the polls held on Sunday in which voting took place in 581 panchayats spread across 16 districts in the state, both sides claimed they had won. The BJP claimed that it had won 274 gram panchayats along with its ally, the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena, which won 41 others.
The party further claimed that the NCP, Congress, and the Uddhav Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena had respectively won only 62, 37, and 12 gram panchayats.
Speaking to a news agency after the declaration of the results, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “It is a verification stamp for our Shiv Sena and BJP alliance by the people of Maharashtra.”
The Chief Minister, who walked out of the Shiv Sena in June after a rebellion, said that the victory was a mandate by the people that they had “accepted” the alliance between the two parties.
“It also clears that we’re not the Shinde faction only but we are the real Shiv Sena and people have accepted our alliance where we have won more than 300 panchayats. We will contest together in upcoming polls too,” he said.
Meanwhile, NCP state president Jayant Patil dismissed the BJP’s claims and said that it is the MVA that has secured victory in the polls.
“As there are no party symbols allotted for the gram panchayat polls by the Election Commission, so everyone can claim victory. There is no truth in BJP-Shinde faction claims but on the contrary, the real fact is that NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress, means MVA has won the elections for gram panchayat with a clear majority over BJP Shinde faction,” he said.