The ruling tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has claimed to have won in more than 80% of the 12,711 gram panchayats where elections were held on January 15.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too has said that it emerged victorious in more than 6,000 gram panchayats. The polls were not contested on the party symbol, but instead local panels fought them. At many places, local political equations forced alliances of workers across party line.

“We (the MVA) have won 80% of the seats in gram panchayats across Maharashtra. With these results, it is clear that the people have shown their faith in the work done by our government in the last one year. The BJP has suffered a crushing defeat and its leaders should accept the defeat with open heart instead of misleading people by giving false figures,” State Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said.

Mr. Thorat claimed that his party had emerged winner in Kolhapur, Nandurbar, Latur, Nanded, Amravati, Yavatmal, Nagpur, Wardha, Chandrapur, Osmanabad, Washim and Buldhana districts. “In the Vidarbha region, the Congress has achieved great success and has won in more than 50% of the gram panchayats,” he said.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil countered the Congress, saying the BJP had won in more than 6,000 gram panchayats. “The people of Maharashtra have shown utter distrust in the functioning of the State government. They are disillusioned by the tripartite government and want change. Gram panchayat election results are an indication of that,” he said.

Shiv Sena leader and Environment and Tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said the results were the indication of the people’s trust in the MVA government.

Housing Minister and NCP leader Jitendra Awhad said, “The manner in which the MVA government won the recently held Council polls, it has scored big in gram panchayat polls as well. Just because someone says that he is number one, he cannot be number one. We have won in over two-third gram panchayats in Maharashtra.”

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