The recently held Zilla Parishad polls in Bhandara and Gondia districts of Maharashtra indicates that the BJP is losing ground among voters in the state, while the performance of Congress and NCP, which were decimated in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, has improved.
The Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar has emerged as the strongest party in the Gondia ZP poll after it won 20 seats, followed by the Congress, that won 16.
In Gondia, NCP has gained 7 and the Congress has gained 6 seats this time. In 2010, NCP had won 13 seats out of total 53 whereas the Congress had 10 members.
The BJP numbers have declined from 27 to 17 seats, thereby losing out on 10 seats. Shiv Sena could not win even a single seat in Gondia ZP election. In 2010 poll, Sena had won one seat.
In the Bhandara ZP poll, Congress won the maximum seats (19) out of a total 52 seats. In 2010, Congress had won 11 seats, thereby a gain of 8 seats in the recently held election. NCP won 15 seats. In 2010, NCP had 5 members in Bhandara ZP.
BJP lost 12 seats this time as compared to the previous poll of 2010. Five years back, it had 25 members but now it could manage only 13.
The Shiv Sena, that had two members in 2010, lost one seat in the 2015 poll.
The Opposition took the results as an opportunity to take potshots at the ruling alliance and said that the lack of any firm stand by the BJP-led state government on the issue of farmers’ suicides is responsible for its lacklustre performance in the ZP polls.
“We have been continuously demanding that government waive farm loans, but the government is working against farmers. The unrest against the ruling BJP is reflected in Bhandara and Gondia and this is only the start of BJP’s decline,” state Congress President Ashok Chavan said.