The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday defeated the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance to win civic body polls in Jalgaon and Sangli. The polls were held on August 1, amid the ongoing protests by Maratha groups for reservation in government jobs and education.

Sangli is considered a stronghold of NCP President Sharad Pawar. The BJP won 41 of 78 seats in Sangli, while the Congress won 20. The BJP earlier had no corporators in the Sangli civic body. The NCP won 15, PTI reported.

In Jalgaon, the BJP won 57 of the 75 seats, PTI reported. Local Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain who earlier had 36 seats in Jalgaon won only 13 this time, the report said. The BJP and Shiv Sena are allies, though the Shiv Sena has criticised the saffron party over several issues and threatened to quit the alliance. The NCP and Congress won no seats in Jalgaon, while the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen won three and two independent candidates won.

“People supported the BJP since they are aware our government is making sincere efforts to ensure reservation in jobs and education,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis after the results. “People know only we can fulfill their demands.” The NCP has claimed the BJP won using “money and muscle power”, The Times of India reported.