New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday suffered a major setback as the Congress emerged as the single-largest party in the Zilla Parishad elections in Nagpur with 31 seats defeating the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s bastion by nearly 4,000 votes.

Congress candidate Mahendra Dongre secured victory in the Dhapewada seat with 9,444 votes against BJP nominee Maruti Somkuvar with 5,501 votes. The BJP had won the seat consecutively for the last three terms.

The Nagpur Zilla Parishad has 58 circles (seats) where the polling was held on Tuesday along with Palghar, Nandurbar, Dhule, Akola, and Washim; and the counting of votes was conducted on Wednesday. After a month-long rumpus in Maharashtra in which the Congress-NCP coalition gambled an alliance with the Shiv Sena, to become the ‘Maha Vikas Aghadi’, the three-party tie-up scored great successes in district polls even though they contested separately.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s son Salil Deshmukh has won the Mendpajara seat in Nagpur. In Palghar, Shiv Sena has emerged victorious in 18 out of 57 seats, NCP won 15, BJP won 10, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 4, Congress 1 and others 9 seats.