Moderate turnout at civic by-polls in Nagpur

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Nagpur, Oct 7 (UNI) A moderate turnout was recorded at the voting for the by-election to ten wards of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) here today.

According to initial estimates, there was 42 per cent voting at the by-elections, which passed off peacefully without any untoward incident, a spokesman for NMC told UNI.

There were 1.0 lakh voters in the 10 wards, who decided the fate of 40 candidates in the fray, he said.

The counting of votes would take place tomorrow, and the results would be declared the same day, the spokesman said.

The by-polls were held to fill up the vacancies caused by the disqualification of nine members and the death of another. The by-elections assume significance because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena faced off in two wards, in spite of the fact the saffron alliance has stayed intact both at the state and the national levels, and that the two constituents had an alliance at the civic elections here in February last and they had shared power in the civic body.

The BJP fielded candidates in eight of the ten wards, where the by-polls were held. The Shiv Sena put up a total of three candidates, including two in wards where the BJP also contested.

Neither party fielded a candidate from the remaining one ward.

Incidentally, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have formed an alliance for the by-election. It is the first time that the two parties have come together for a civic poll in the city. The Congress contested six seats and the NCP four. They had fought separately in the civic polls in Nagpur held in 2002 and in February 2007.

The by-election was held due to the disqualification of five councillors from the BJP, including then mayor Devrao Umredkar, three from the Shiv Sena and one from the Congress, after their caste certificates were found invalid, and the death of another Congress councillor. This had reduced the strength of the 136-member NMC general body to 126.

The present party-wise strength is BJP 50, Shiv Sena 5, Congress 31, NCP 8, BSP 5, RJD 3, MNS 2, Independents 11 and others 11.

UNI

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