- None of the 27 Muslim candidates that BJP fielded in Malegaon won
- But the party is celebrating victory in 7 wards
- Congress has won the most - 28 of the 84 municipality wards
The party, which also rules the state, has won with ease in Panvel in Raigad district, and in Bhiwandi, another Muslim-dominated town, it has come third with 11 seats with the Congress getting a majority followed by ally, Shiv Sena.
None of the 27 Muslim candidates that the BJP fielded in Malegaon has won. The Congress has won the most, 28 of the municipalities 84 wards, while Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which controlled the last corporation, could win only 20 seats.
"Earlier the BJP did not even have candidates here. This time there was a candidate with the Lotus symbol. Maybe next time we will win," said BJP candidate Shaheen Sayyad, who had seemed confident yesterday that she would win.
The BJP's Malegaon campaign was based on development policies like gas subsidies and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, a job scheme. The outreach was seen as an attempt to make inroads into areas that the BJP has not been politically strong.
In local elections held in several rounds since December, the BJP has surged in rural areas which were for years considered the stronghold of the Congress and the NCP, once partners in the state.
In February, the BJP swept civic body elections in regions like Amravati and Pune. In Mumbai, it was a close runner-up to the Shiv Sena in its best result ever.
Last month the BJP won civic elections in Latur, which the Congress had never lost since Independence.