Nagpur: Nagpur and Gondia will witness the last leg of ongoing municipal council polls in the state on January 8. The BJP stalwarts like chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule along with ex-civil aviation minister Praful Patel will be putting up their efforts to defend their stake. The counting will be held on January 9.
In Nagpur district, nine municipal councils — Kamptee, Umred, Katol, Kalmeshwar, Mohpa, Ramtek, Narkhed, Khapa and Saoner — are going to polls. In Gondia district, elections will be held in Gondia and Tiroda towns. There are total 244 seats in these eleven towns. Besides, eleven direct elections for the post of council president will be held. Maximum number of seats are in Gondia (42), followed by Kamptee 32 and Umred 25. Katol has 23 seats and Saoner has 20 seats. All the remaining towns have 17 seats.
Bawankule has been extensively campaigning for the polls in Nagpur district since last 10 days. Gadkari too has campaigned at a few places. CM Fadnavis has begun a three-day campaign tour of the district. He will campaign in each of the nine towns.
NCP’s Praful Patel is pulling out all the stops to win the council polls in Gondia and Tiroda. NCP had bitten the dust in the four councils in Bhandara district in the polls held last month. It is imperative for him to win the two towns in Gondia district to salvage his pride.
After three phases of municipal council elections, BJP is at the top with maximum number of seats and maximum posts of council presidents, followed by Congress and NCP. Its ally Shiv Sena has, however, not done well. Now it needs to win the maximum number of seats and council presidents in the two districts to maintain its top position. So far, BJP has done very well in Vidarbha by winning the council elections in most of the districts. It remains to be seen whether the trend continues.