Baramati, Nov 6 (PTI) The Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction) on Monday claimed panels backed by it swept the elections to gram panchayats in the Pawar family turf of Baramati in Maharashtra's Pune district, winning 30 of the 32 village councils on offer.
The other two gram panchayats were won by panels supported by the BJP, an ally of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's faction of the NCP, which suffered a split in early July.
Polling for 2,359 gram panchayats and 130 vacant sarpanch posts were held in Maharashtra on Sunday and counting of votes was taken up on Monday.
The counting of votes for 32 gram panchayats in Baramati took place at taluka office.
The panels backed by the Ajit Pawar led-NCP faction swept the elections, winning 30 of the 32 gram panchayats in Baramati taluka, local leaders of the group said.
In Katewadi, Ajit Pawar's ancestral village, the NCP-backed Jay Bhavanimata panel, emerged victorious, they said.
Though these rural elections are not contested on party symbols, candidates in the fray are often associated with political outfits. During these rural elections, the prestige of senior leaders across parties was on the line ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
This was the first major electoral test for the NCP in rural Maharashtra after the Sharad Pawar-founded party suffered a split on July 2 when Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs loyal to him joined the BJP-Shiv Sena government and took oath as cabinet ministers. PTI COR RSY