An average voter turnout of 76 per cent was recorded in 106 Nagar panchayats in 32 districts of Maharashtra on Tuesday. The election was held without reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs). The Nagar panchayat seats in Beed saw a contest between supporters of BJP leader Pankaja Munde and her cousin and state minister Dhananjay Munde of the NCP.
Similarly, in Sindhudurg, the main contest was between supporters of the Shiv Sena and Union minister Narayan Rane of BJP. The opposition BJP in Maharashtra had won four of the six seats in the state Legislative Council polls held earlier this month.
The Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) had last week said that the elections to local bodies from OBC reserved constituencies, which were scheduled for Tuesday, will now be held on January 18 and these seats will be converted as general category ones, following a Supreme Court ruling. The Supreme Court had last week directed the Maharashtra SEC to notify 27 per cent of seats in the local bodies, which were reserved for the OBCs as a general category so that the poll process can be taken forward.
The state government wanted the SEC to stay all the local body polls till the OBC political quota was restored. However, the apex court, while hearing an application filed by the Maharashtra government seeking modification of a December 6 order, had directed the SEC to issue a fresh notification for the 27 per cent OBC seats within a week. In March this year, the apex court had said the reservation in favour of OBCs in local bodies in Maharashtra cannot exceed an aggregate of 50 per cent of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and OBCs together.