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    Published On : Fri, Aug 3rd, 2018
    National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Maharashtra Civic Polls Counting Today; Prestige of Heavyweights at Stake in Sangli, Jalgaon

    Mumbai: Counting of votes for Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) and Jalgaon Municipal Corporation (JMC) would be held today. Results will be declared today itself. As many as 754 candidates are in the fray for 153 seats. The prestige of several political heavyweights is at stake.

    The 78-member Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation has 41 Congress members and 19 from the NCP. The BJP has no representation in the civic body while there are nine Independents and eight members from local outfits. The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has one member.

    In the 75-member Jalgaon Municipal Corporation (JMC), the BJP has 15 and the NCP 11 members. There are 12 corporators from the MNS, 36 members from local outfits and one Independent. The BJP is in power with the support of local outfits. The term of the Sangli corporation ends on August 13, while that of the JMC on September 19.

    Jalgaon, in North Maharashtra, is home turf of BJP heavyweights Eknath Khadse and Girish Mahajan, while Sangli, in Western Maharashtra, is native place of state NCP president Jayant Patil and Congress leader Vishwajit Kadam.

    Kadam, Congress veteran late Vasantdada Patil’s grandson Pratik Patil and daughter-in-law Jayshri Patil and Prithviraj Patil, son of former MPCC chief and MP Gulabrao Patil, are leading the party in the Sangli civic polls. For the first time, NCP and the Congress had a pre-poll alliance for the civic polls in Sangli.

    With these elections, the BJP has made a bid to expand its base in Sangli district, once considered a stronghold of the Congress and the NCP. In 2014, the BJP bagged the Sangli Lok Sabha seat, while in the assembly polls (held in October 2014), the party got four seats. The NCP bagged two assembly seats in the district, while the Shiv Sena and Congress won one each.

    In Jalgaon, the BJP ranks have been uneasy over the party’s collaboration with local strongman Suresh Jain, a former MLA who spent time in jail on corruption charges, for the polls, a party source said. A BJP source said the party has given a substantial number of tickets to close associates of Jain.

    “For 25 to 30 years, the BJP took on the corruption of Suresh Jain, who was also jailed for more than three years. The BJP gave tickets to his associates. People want to know if the allegations of corruption levelled by the BJP against Jain still remain,” said a source. Yet, the BJP looks set to retain power in the civic body, he said.

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