Maharashtra civic elections: Congress loses stronghold Latur to BJP

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The alliance had fielded a total of 37 candidates, of them 22 are from the AIMIM. In 2012 polls, ‪‪the BJP had not won any seat in Latur.

Continuing with its winning streak, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to wrest power in the Congress-dominated Latur civic body and retain its power in the Chandrapur municipal corporation in Maharashtra. The outcome also came as a setback for NCP that bagged just one seat. Results are expected to be declared later on Friday.

Congress had won 49 seats, NCP - 13, Shiv Sena - 2 in 2012 polls. The NCP and Shiv Sena are ahead in 07 wards each. Others can win up to 10.5% votes and 22 seats. Congress stalwarts Smitha Kanapure, Asgar Ali Patel, Laxmanak Kamble had to face defeat. Latur is the bastion of two former Chief Ministers of the state. Counting of votes is underway.

The process in Latur began with counting of postal votes. Latur went to polls on Wednesday, recording 60 per cent voter turnout in the election held under intense heat.

The Congress was leading in Parbhani in 30 out of 65 seats, where NCP was leading in 20 seats.

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"Chandrapur, Parbhani and Latur recorded 57 per cent, 70 per cent and 60 per cent voting, respectively".

The elections to three municipal corporations are considered as an acid test for the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress and the NCP. The stakes were especially high for the ruling BJP as it was not in power in any of these three corporations and was looking to make inroads.

Chandrapur is the home district of the senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. As many as 460 candidates were in the fray whose fates were decided by 3.02 lakh voters.

For BJP, the charge was led by Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, the MLA from Nilanga, who is the Maharashtra Labour, Skill Development, Earthquake Rehabilitation & Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

The Latur city and district in Marathwada region was the focal point of the water crisis previous year and water had to be provided by train wagons.

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