Congress set to retain Nanded municipal poll, wins 15 seats

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The Congress on Thursday appeared set to retain the Nanded News -Waghala City Municipal Corporation (NWCMC), a stronghold of state party chief Ashok Chavan, bagging 15 of the 16 results announced so far for the 81-seat civic body.

 

The Congress has also built strong leads in 33 seats in the NWCMC, which is now one of the last surviving bastions of the party in the state. Election to the civic body were held on Wednesday.

 

Its main rival, Bharatiya Janata Party trailed far behind – bagging just one seat and notching leads in another four.

 

The Shiv Sena was leading in two and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was ahead in one seat.

 

The Congress’ partner National Congress Party failed to secure any lead as per the ongoing vote count at 1 p.m., a State Election Commission (SEC) official said.

 

Both, the Congress and BJP had made it a battle of prestige to wrest control over the civic body in the city renowned for the Hazoor Sahib Gurudwara, which is one of the five holy Sikh Takhts and the resting place of the legendary Sikh spiritual leader, Guru Gobind Singh.

 

For the first time in the state, the SEC has deployed VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail) voting machines in 31 polling centres in Ward No. 2 as a pilot project in the elections which recorded a 65 per cent turnout on Wednesday.

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Rift in JD(U): I am with mahagathbandhan, says Sharad Yadav

Clipping the wings?

 

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In a display of defiance against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, senior JD-U leader and former party president Sharad Yadav on Thursday declared he was still with the Grand Alliance of the RJD and Congress.

 

“I still stand with Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) that was given a mandate by 11 crore people in Bihar in the 2015 assembly polls to rule for five years,” Yadav told the media after landing at the Patna airport from Delhi.

 

Hundreds of his supporters, including some JD-U leaders, welcomed Yadav as he came out of the airport, shouting slogans in his support.

 

Two former JD-U legislators, including former minister Ramai Ram and Rambadan Rai, were also in the crowd. Not a single JD-U legislator was present.

 

Without naming Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav said: “The decision to join hands with the BJP and form a government in Bihar was against the mandate given in the 2015 assembly polls against the BJP-led NDA.

 

“I was personally hurt and pained by (the decision),” he said. “I had also vigorously campaigned for the Grand Alliance.”

 

Yadav is on a three-day visit to eight districts in Bihar including Patna, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Supaul and Madhepura.

He said he won’t speak any more on the subject. “I will speak more when I visit people.”

Earlier, the ruling Janata Dal-United on Wednesday distanced itself from Yadav’s visit.

 

“Sharad Yadav’s visit to Bihar is his personal initiative. The JD-U has nothing to do with it,” JD-U state President Vashisht Narain Singh said.

 

JD-U leaders started targeting Yadav since last week after he spoke out against Nitish Kumar’s decision to embrace the Bharatiya Janata Party.

 

Apart from Sharad Yadav, two JD-U Rajya Sabha MPs — Ali Anwar Ansari and Virender Kumar — have also voiced their opposition to Nitish Kumar’s decision to join hands with the BJP. Both are in touch with Sharad Yadav.

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