Maharashtra: Election for presidents of 25 zilla parishads today

The Shiv Sena's stand is keenly watched in Jalna, Aurangabad, Buldhana, Jalgaon, Sangli, and Kolhapur.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Mar 21, 2017, 08:48 AM IST

Mumbai: The elections for presidents in 25 Zilla Parishads across Maharashtra will be held on Tuesday.

These Zilla Parishads went to polls in February to elect their members, in which the BJP made inroads into the hinterland.

The Shiv Sena's stand is keenly watched in Jalna, Aurangabad, Buldhana, Jalgaon, Sangli, and Kolhapur.

In Kolhapur, the home district of Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, the BJP and the Congress are tied at 14 in the house of 67, where NCP has 11 members, Sena 10 and others 18.

In Jalna, the home district of the BJP state president Raosaheb Danve, the saffron party is the single largest party with 22 seats while Sena's strength is 14, followed by the NCP (13) and Congress (5).

In Jalgaon, the home turf of senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse and the Medical education minister Girish Mahajan, BJP is the single largest party with 33 and needs just one seat to win the ZP president's post.

In Buldhana, the BJP has won the highest 24 seats, followed by the Congress (14), Sena (9) and the NCP (8).

If Shiv Sena decides to join hands with the BJP, they can install their own ZP presidents and vice-presidents in Nashik, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Jalna, Yavatmal and Buldhana.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP enjoys a full majority in Pune and Satara, while Congress enjoys the same in Sindhudurg.

Similarly, the BJP has a majority in Latur, Wardha, and Chandrapur, while Sena has the majority in Ratnagiri.

If the Congress and the NCP come together, they can have their ZP presidents and vice-presidents in Ahmednagar, Nanded, Parbhani, Osmanabad, and Amravati.

The Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) has a full majority in Raigad.

Meanwhile, if the sources in the Sena to be believed, the party may join hands with the Congress and the NCP to unsettle the BJP's calculations to secure power in at least 11 out of 25 ZPs.

A source said though 'Matoshree' (read party president Uddhav Thackeray) had issued a diktat to align with Congress and NCP for Tuesday's polls, the same has not gone down well with local Sena leaders in at least six ZPs.

"Local Sena leaders have refused to toe the party leadership's directive saying that after having fought a bitter election against the Congress and NCP, it's unthinkable to join hands with them now," a Sena leader said.

He said the leaders of the Sena, Congress, and NCP are not even on talking terms in Kolhapur, Sangli, Nanded, Nashik, Beed and Osmanabad ZPs.

The only possibility of Sena having any understanding with the BJP is in Sindhudurg district, where it needs the BJP's support to stop its arch rival and local Congress strongman Narayan Rane from securing power in ZP. According to sources, in Nanded, Sena MLA Prataprao

Chikhalikar is against any tie-up with his arch rival Congress MP and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan.

In Kolhapur, Sena MLA Chandradeep Narke has a long-standing political feud with former Congress MLA PN Patil.

In Osmanabad, more than the dispute with the NCP, local MP Ravi Gaikwad is in disagreement with Sena Sampark Pramukh Tanaji Sawant.

In Nashik, the NCP is in a dilemma over whether to support the Congress, Sena or align with the BJP.

Sena minister of state for Cooperation Dada Bhuse has a dispute with the Medical Education Minister and BJP leader Girish Mahajan.

In Beed ZP, it is an interesting battle developing with former NCP MLA Badamrao Pandit, who joined Sena recently, opposing the saffron party joining hands with the NCP. Former NCP MLA Suresh Dhas, who has five corporators in his camp, is likely to lend support to the BJP.

Minister for Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde is reported to have invoked family ties her late father Gopinath Munde had with the Thackeray family.

In Sangli, all the three local strongmen Jayant Patil (NCP), Patangrao Kadam (Congress) and Anil Babar (Sena) have serious differences among them.

(With PTI inputs)