Counting of votes is currently underway for the Nanded municipal elections. Home turf of Maharashtra’s former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the Nanded Waghala municipality recorded 60 per cent voter turn out on Wednesday. With Chavan’s prestige at stake, he is confident of Congress retaining the municipality despite Bharatiya Janata Party’s grandiose efforts to clinch a victory in the civic polls.
BJP left no stone unturned in campaigning for these polls and brought all its A-listers, including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, to ensure a win. Chavan too did not risk taking anything to chance and had parked himself in Nanded for the last three weeks. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also visited Nanded in the build-up to the polls.
Nanded is a Congress stronghold and the party had won 41 out of the 81 seats last time. Shiv Sena had secured 12 seats, followed by All India Majlis-e-Muslimeen with 11 seats. BJP had managed to add just two seats to their kitty. While the ruling party seems confident of a much improved performance this time, it still remains to be seen whether the party can dent the Maharashtra Congress chief president Chavan’s bastion.
The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines have been used for the first time in the state in these elections. The Maharashtra Election Commission had planned to use these machines across 37 polling centres in one ward but the machines had to be withdrawn from a couple of polling centres due to technical glitches, officials informed. The machines could not be installed at four other centres, making 31 polling centres the final count for the use of machine on a pilot basis.