In Mumbai It Is Hung, BJP, SS On Par, Cong, NCP Bite Dust
Mumbai: Shiv Sena (SS) which was far ahead of the BJP till Thursday afternoon had slowed down by the evening and the BJP picked up pace to equal the former alliance partner in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. At the end of the counting SS had won 84 seats against 75 in last elections in 2012 and the BJP pocketed 81 seats as against 31 in the last elections. The opposition Congress ended up with 31 seats in place of 52 seats won in 2012.
The SS had been ruling the roost since 1997 for twenty years. It had broken the alliance with the BJP just before the municipal elections. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis hinted at revival of the alliance with SS. Since no party could reach the magic figure of 114 seats in the Corporation with 228 seats, the SS and the BJP have to join hands or any one of them should explore the possibilities of teaming up with smaller parties. The victory is important for the SS as it gives the party a greater leverage in dealing with the BJP governments in the State and at the Centre. It can also bargain with the BJP from a position of strength in seat sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections or the Assembly elections that follow. It was a high voltage campaign spearheaded by SS chief Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on behalf of their respective parties. Both the leaders were in a celebrating mode at the end of the day. Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai PCC chief, has announced his resignation taking moral responsibility for the flop show by the Congress. The Nationalist Congress Party headed by Sharad Pawar could not retain the 13 seats it won in 2012.
The results of the elections held for 25 Zilla Parishads were announced on Thursday. Out of the 1514 ZP seats, the BJP won 403, the NCP 317, the Congress 277 and the SS gained 269 seats. Independents secured 127 seats. Some more results are yet to come at the time of writing.
It is a great moral booster for Fadnavis who campaigned untiringly. He won eight civic bodies: Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Solapur, Ulhasnagar, Akola, Nagasuri and Amaravati. The ninth one- Thane has gone to SS.
The SS chief refused to give more than 40 seats in BMC to the BJP leading to the failure of talks and breaking down of the alliance.