Deshmukh Retains Hold Over Latur in Maharashtra

Deshmukh Retains Hold Over Latur in Maharashtra
Congress today emerged as the dominant party in elections to five municipal corporations in Maharashtra, including Latur in Marathwada region.

In Latur, Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh retained his hold over the municipal corporation, with Congress winning 49 of the 70 seats, fending off a challenge by NCP, which managed only 13 seats.

Voting was held yesterday in Latur, Chandrapur and Parbhani which were upgraded into corporations, and also in Malegaon and Bhiwandi-Nizampur corporations.

In Parbhani, of the 65 seats, Congress won 23, NCP 30, Shiv Sena 8, BJP 2 and others 2.

Congress and NCP, ruling alliance partners in state government, contested the polls separately.

In Chandrapur, from where state BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar hails, Congress led with 25 of the total 66 seats, while BJP was a close second with 20 seats. NCP won 3, Sena 5 and MNS 1 seat.

In Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation, which has 90 seats, Congress won 25, NCP 8, Sena 14, BJP 6 and other won 23 seats.

Bhiwandi is a unique local body in Maharashtra where Independents have ruled with the support of Congress-NCP or Shiv Sena-BJP alliances since its inception. Bhiwandi, 44 kms from Mumbai, is a power loom city with Muslims as majority community.

In Malegaon, Congress won 25, NCP 8, Sena 12, MNS 2 and others won 33 of the total 80 seats.

Meanhile, conceding defeat in Latur, NCP's Rajya Sabha member J M Waghmare said the rival party (read Congress) had used money power in the polls, distributing sarees to women and giving cash to voters.
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