Mumbai : The Shiv Sena, vying to retain control of the cash-rich BMC, took an early lead followed by the BJP, according to trends emerging from 10 municipal corporations and 25 zilla parishads in Maharashtra.

In the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Sena was so far leading on 24 seats and BJP on 13. The Congress was leading on 5 seats and MNS on one seat, a State Election Commission official said.

In Pune Municipal Corporation, BJP was leading on 11 seats and NCP on 5, while in Pimpri-Chinchwad civic body, Sena was leading on 4 and NCP and BJP on 2 seats each.

Counting got underway for polls to 10 civic bodies, including cash-rich BMC, and 25 zilla parishads and 283 panchayat samitis across Maharashtra at 10 AM.

The prime focus is on the cash-rich 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation with the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena at the forefront of this battle of might.

The results will determine the fate of 21,620 candidates for 5,777 seats up for grabs in the 10 municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 283 panchayat samitis for which the elections were held in two phases.

Nearly 56 per cent voters had exercised their right to franchise during the elections to the 10 municipal corporations held on Tuesday. The Mumbai civic body BMC recorded about 55 per cent turn-out.

Besides, 69 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis.

The stakes are high for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who led their respective parties from the front and were involved in a high decibel and no-holds-barred campaign.

Apart from Mumbai, the municipal corporations which went to the polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.

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