The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) impressive performance in 25 Zilla Parishads and 283 Panchayat Samitis has elevated it to number one position among the four major political parties in the State. It previously stood at number four.As per results made available by State Election Commission (SEC), BJP topped the chart by winning 406 seats out of 1,509 which went to polls. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) steps down to second position with 360 seats and Congress to third from its previous second with 309 seats.Despite the tough fight it offered the BJP in Mumbai and Thane, Sena finds itself at number four with 271 seats.In 2012, the seats won by NCP, Congress, Sena and BJP were 511, 419, 243 and 165 respectively.“Our wins have made us more humble than ever before. Now it is our responsibility to deliver on the promises that we made,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said after the victory on Thursday.Spectacular performanceThe BJP’s spectacular performance can be gauged from the fact that except for Jalgaon, Jalna, Beed, Wardha and Chandrapur the party could not reach double digit mark in 2012.While it retained dominance in Jalgaon, Jalna, Wardha and Chandrapur it wrested Congress strongholds Latur in Marathwada and Sangli in western Maharashtra.The BJP also managed to dent the Congress bastion of Kolhapur and Ahmednagar.For the Congress, the polls have turned out to be a forgettable affair. Except for senior leader Narayan Rane’s hometown of Sindhudurg and State unit chief Ashok Chavan’s home pitch Nanded, it does not enjoy any power on its own.Consolation win for NCPIn Pune, though the BJP all but routed other major political players in the municipal corporations, the NCP managed to retain the ZP, bagging 41 of the 75 seats. The Shiv Sena came second, winning 13 while the BJP secured only six seats.“The results of the ZP and Panchayat Samiti elections prove we still have the support of the rural voters in Pune district. Likewise, in the case of Satara and Ahmednagar,” said NCP MP Supriya Sule.The NCP coasted along in the Satara ZP, winning 34 of 64 seats. It emerged as the single-largest party in the Solapur ZP as well, winning 23 of the 68 seats. The BJP came second here, securing 15 seats.But the NCP’s brightest spot was a small upset it managed in Marathwada, by denting the BJP’s base in Beed, winning 25 of the 60 seats.This setback for BJP leader Pankaja Munde on her home-turf caused her to offer to resign soon after the results were announced.The chief architect of Ms. Munde’s defeat was her estranged cousin, NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, which made her defeat personal.In fact, both the NCP and the Congress made decent gains in Zilla Parishad elections in the Marathwada division. The NCP won the Osmanabad ZP, snaring 26 of the 55 seats.The Congress came off even worse than the NCP in the municipal polls. It performed abysmally in the Solapur Municipal Corporation and was routed in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, where it failed to open its account.Yet, as consolation, it emerged as the single-largest party in the Ahmednagar Zilla Parishad poll, winning 20 of the 72 seats. The NCP came a close second bagging 17 seats.Another commendable win was in the Konkan region, where the Congress scored an absolute majority in the Sindhudurg Zilla Parishad, winning 27 of the 50 seats.Century for GadkariIn Nagpur, the BJP has become the first party to get a clear majority in 40 years.Despite being at the helm of the Nagpur Municipal Council in the last two terms, and was dependant on other parties for outside support.“I was expecting 80 to 85 seats but 108 out of 151 is a great victory,” Union Minister and Nagpur MP Nitin Gadkari told reporters at his residence on Thursday.According to political observers, infighting in the Congress was one of the main reasons for the BJP’s victory.Until 2014, Nagpur was a Congress bastion. In the Lok Sabha elections that year Mr. Gadkari defeated seven-time Congress MP from Nagpur, Vilas Muttemwar, by 2,84,000 votes. In the Assembly elections four months later, the BJP defeated Congress in all six Assembly segments.
It might have been rejected by the ICC but Sachin Tendulkar’s suggestion to revamp the ODIs by splitting the format into four innings of 25 overs each has got the backing of his Test teammate Rahul Dravid.”It is interesting (suggestion). I don’t know why the ICC has rejected it (Tendulkar’s suggestion via a letter to ICC), but it’s a good idea that Sachin has given and is worth experimenting,” said India’s batting mainstay on the England tour on the sidelines of a promotional event for ‘Gillette’ here last night.”It has been tried out in Australia (in domestic cricket) and the plus and minus points should be looked into,” he added.Tendulkar had written a letter to the ICC to change the format of the ODIs from two innings of 50 overs to four of 25 overs like a Test match but the world council’s Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat had rejected it.”There is no need to change the format,” Lorgat told reporters in Colombo on Wednesday.”We did receive a written proposal from Sachin, but that was a long time back. I myself have spoken to him many times about it, the last one as recent as during the World Cup in April.The success of the tournament showed that the 50-over format was sound in health and there was no need for dramatic changes,” Lorgat added.”The executive board meeting after the World Cup decided that the present format was doing well. That has not changed,” Lorgat stressed.Tendulkar had argued that four innings of 25 overs would be a fair way to balance the advantage gained by the team which won the toss in conditions such as bad weather, sub-quality pitches which historically had proven that a match can virtually be decided by the toss of a coin.advertisementDravid also backed the Cricket Board for deciding to put pressure on the ICC for revising the controversial Decision Review System of which he got the rough end of the stick in the Test and ODI rubbers in England.”It’s not set in stone. Anything connected with DRS is a work in progress. There are new challenges and questioned about it. Its up to the member boards (of the ICC) to ask whether things are better with it in place,” said the 39-year-old Dravid.Dravid, who was the lone batsman to show consistently superb form in difficult conditions against a top class England pace attack in the four-match Test rubber that India lost 0-4, was also controversially given out through the ‘Hot Spot’ image system on at least three occasions leading to big debates over DRS.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday ordered a probe into the southeast Delhi’s Zakir Nagar fire incident in which six people, including three children, were killed and 13 were injured. The AAP chief, who visited the spot where the fire broke out, said all lapses behind the massive fire will be probed. According to an official, the chief minister also announced a compensation of Rs five lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs two lakh each to the injured. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “All lapses behind the massive fire will be probed,” Kejriwal said. Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the blaze which broke out in a four-storey residential building on Tuesday. The fire had occurred due to short circuit in the electric metres of the building housing 13 flats, officials said. Around seven cars and 19 motorcycles were also destroyed in the blaze. The deceased were identified as Zoha (34), Nagmi (30), Arbaaz (6), Amna (8) and Zikra (8). Their bodies have been kept at the AIIMS. The sixth body is yet to be identified and has been kept at the Safdarjung Hospital.