The Congress did a BJP in Nanded Municipal Corporations elections on Thursday when it decimated competition to emerge victorious. The Congress led by Ashok Chavan outdid itself winning 73 of the 81 seats in the Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation. The message was loud and clear, the BJP is not invincible, especially when Congress' traditional votes that had strayed have returned to the party.
While the Congress had the advantage of home turf, considering that the constituency is Ashok Chavan's own bastion, the BJP's performance in the previous elections especially in the last one year, was a cause of worry. The BJP won six seats- four more than what it had managed in the last elections.
The Congress intended to send the BJP packing but what it ended up doing was burying the Shiv Sena as well as the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Shiv sena won one seat while the AIMIM failed to open an account. "Traditional Congress votes have returned to the party, especially Muslim votes. The results are overwhelming," said a Congress leader from Maharashtra.
The Congress had previously won 41 out of the 81 seats, a simple majority. This time around, the results have exceeded expectations of the party in the face of heavy politicking and campaigning by the BJP led by none other than 'electoral victory poster boy' Devendra Fadnavis.
The Shiv Sena, despite a humiliating defeat in the polls, seemed happier about the drubbing that BJP received. "The results must have been a shocker for our friend, which saw the dream of a Congress-free India. The message for India through this election is clear the BJP can be defeated," Shiv Sena said in its mouthpiece Saamna.
The Congress called the results a "slap on the face for BJP and its poaching politics". Nanded had turned into a battle of prestige between Fadnavis and Chavan and now the message is loud and clear. The Congress has not only managed to defend its bastion but has proved to the BJP that the right wing party is not invincible.