Mumbai, Dec 10 (PTI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured a comfortable win in the 74-member Dhule Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra Monday while voters gave a fractured mandate in the Ahmednagar corporation.

Elections to the two civic bodies in the state were held Sunday. Counting of votes was completed Monday evening after which the state election commission announced the results.

BJP won 50 out of 74 seats and gained control of the Dhule civic body for the first time, earlier being ruled by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Congress and NCP alliance won 14 seats, Shiv Sena, AIMIM, Samajwadi Party and independents won two seats each, while one seat went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

A front floated by BJP rebel and local MLA Anil Gote could win only one seat.

The election in Dhule drew more attention because of Gote’s allegations against the BJP leadership for giving tickets to several leaders from the Congress and NCP with alleged criminal background.

Reacting after the results, Gote alleged that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were tampered with.

In Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation, the ruling Shiv Sena emerged as the single largest party by winning 24 out of 68 seats, followed by NCP and BJP which won 18 and 14 seats, respectively.

The Congress won only five seats, BSP four, independents two and the SP one.

Police used lathi-charge as workers of different political parties scuffled outside the counting centre in Ahmednagar, an official said.

Fifteen out of 27 municipal corporations in the state are now being controlled by the BJP either on its own or in alliance.

Opposition Congress and NCP questioned the results in Dhule and Ahmednagar, alleging that the BJP, which leads the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, used muscle and money power.

“The victory in Dhule is not of BJP, but of `saam, daam, dand, bhed’ (use of all resources including money and muscle power),” said state Congress chief Ashok Chavan.

He accused the BJP of admitting goons into the party ahead of the polls. “It has perfected a formula to win elections by using immoral ways,” Chavan said.

State NCP chief Jayant Patil echoed him, saying that with BJP MLA Anil Gote rebelling against his party, the result in Dhule should have been in favour of Congress-NCP alliance.

“But the expected vote division did not happen. And that is not surprising. It is a matter of research why the results came out the way they came out,” Patil said.

NCP workers believed they could win 28 to 30 seats in Ahmednagar given the party’s strong presence there, he said.

In both Dhule and Ahmednagar, there were instances where a large number of people voted for certain candidates but somebody else won, Patil said.

BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said the allegations of EVM tampering and use of money or muscle power were nothing but excuses to shield the opposition’s own failure.

“It shows their political immaturity,” he said. PTI ND ENM

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.