Kolhapur: The Congress winning 27 seats and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) bagging 15 seats are set to retain their hold over the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC), election commission results showed after counting of votes ended Monday.
The BJP and allies secured 32 seats, with four going to the Shiv Sena.
Hoping to grab power, the Congress immediately announced that its nominee would be the next mayor.
The Congress also declared that it would secure the backing of three independents and local party candidates to cross the magic figure of 42 in the KMC.
In KMC, the BJP tied up with a local ally, Tara Rani Aghadi, an alliance of erstwhile independent winners who united into a registered political party - to improve its tally from three (2010) to 12. The latter got 20 seats.
The Sena maintained a status quo of four seats in both 2010 and 2015.
The Congress and NCP suffered marginally, with their tally dropping as compared to 2010 in KMC.
The Congress, which held 31 seats, had to be content with 27 (2015), and NCP tally fell from 25 to 15, the losses mostly attributed to Tararani Aghadi.
Meanwhile, former minister and NCP leader Hasan Mushrif said that Congress and NCP alliance will rule the KMC. Congress and NCO together are leading on 42 seats. A party needs 41 seats to come to power in the KMC.
The architect of the Congress win in Kolhapur, Satej Patil, also announced that the party would try to form an alliance with the NCP in the western Maharashtra city.
Counting of votes started amid tight security at around 10:00 am. A large number of people gathered outside the counting centre to know the fate of their favorite candidates.
Earlier, about 70% of the total voters cast their votes Sunday November 01, 2015 to elect their representatives in the 81-member house. In 2010 elections, the total voter turn out was 67.69 per cent.
Officials said that polls to elect the new body of the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) were largely conducted peacefully and no major untoward incident was reported from the two places.
The Congress which had 31 members and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with 25 corporators ruled the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) for the last five years.
A controversy was raked ahead of the Kolhapur Municipal Elections after some little known clerics issued fatwa barring Muslim women from contesting the polls. The fatwa was later revoked after stiff opposition from the community.
In order to improve participation of women in decision making, the Indian government has reserved 50% of the total seats in all civic bodies for women.
In the high-stake contest to the 81-member Kolhapur civic body, it was the rumours on money distribution in some sensitive constituencies like Sadar Bazar that kept the district election office and cops busy.
"However, all those alerts turned out to be fake," said sources.
No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the city unlike previous civic polls.