Mumbai, Nov 29: A day after the BJP emerged as the biggest gainer in the municipal councils elections in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today took a dig at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying the Sena scored a victory on its own strength and despite his absence during the campaigning. While Fadnavis had led BJP’s poll campaign for the elections to the 164 municipal councils and nagar panchayats, the results of which were declared yesterday, Thackeray had delegated the responsibility of electioneering to Sena leaders and had not campaigned personally.
“The credit of Sena’s victory goes to all the Shiv Sainiks. I did not even campaign once because I wanted to prove what a true Sainik could do. I also thank the people for the mandate because even though we had not given any false assurances, they gave us a landslide verdict,” Thackeray told reporters here. Out of the 3,727 seats in the 164 municipal councils and nagar panchayats for which, polling was held on Sunday, BJP won 893 seats, Congress 727, Sena 529, NCP 615, CPM 12, BSP 9, MNS 7, other registered parties 91, unrecognised but registered parties 305, Independents 510, and Alliances/Fronts 29.
Thackeray said unlike the BJP, the Sena did not ally with any party in the first phase of the polls, which was held on Sunday. “We might have allied with the units of local parties under exceptional circumstances. But other than that, we did not ally with any other party. (But) BJP, in every local council, allied with different parties which resulted in them securing the number one position,” he said.
The Sena chief said the BJP had done “exceptionally well” in the Vidarbha region whereas, the Sena’s performance needed to be improved. “We are not very strong in the Vidarbha region. I will have to give the region more attention now. The Sainiks there need my support,” he said. In the direct elections for the posts of presidents across 147 municipal councils, the BJP has won 52 seats, Sena 23, Congress 19, NCP 16 and others 28.