Shiv Sena Leads In Mumbai, BJP Next, Congress Decimated

Mumbai: The first wicket has fallen as a result of rout faced by the Congress. Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Pradesh Congress President, has resigned taking the moral responsibility for the abject defeat faced by the Congress in the municipal elections. While both the BJP and Shiv Sena improved their numbers over the last elections, the Congress has crumbled without a fight. While the ruling BJP gained across Maharashtra, the SS has established its superiority over the BJP in Mumbai city. The polling took place on Tuesday in which 55 percent of the voters took part. BJP pushed the Congress down to occupy the second place. Mumbai happens to be the richest corporation in Asia with an annual budget of Rs 37,000 crore.

Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray told NDTV that he would withdraw from the State and Central government and he foresees a midterm poll. Thackeray has called off the alliance after they failed to agree upon sharing of seats. The SS has been very keen to get the BJP off its shoulders since it strongly feels that it lost political space because of the domineering role played by the BJP. However, SS MP Sanjay Raut was not prepared to say so clearly that it would walk out of the government. In the earlier round of municipal elections, the BJP was the major gainer in rural areas of Maharashtra where it trounced the Congress and NCP from their traditional strongholds.

Shiv Sena is celebrating as it is leading in 90 seats at 1.30 pm on Thursday in the elections to Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (MBC). The BJP is leading in 54 seats while the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Raj Thacheray’s MNS have been crushed. The Shiv Sena has been controlling the MBC for over 20 years. Bal Thackeray, who is no more, must be blessing his son, Udhav Thackeary, from the above. The BJP has improved upon its performance in the last municipal elections held in 2012 when it bagged only 31 seats. In the elections five years ago, the SS got 75 seats while the Congress had won 52 seats and the NCP 13. BJP (31) and SS (75) joined hands to form an alliance.

The BJP has victories to celebrate from Pune, Nagapur, Sholapur, Amaravati and Nashik. It has wrested Pune from Sharad Pawar’s NCP.  The SS is doing well in Mumbai suburb Thane as well. The municipal polls are largely seen as a battle between Udhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The MBC has 227 seats and the SS, at the present rate, might fall short of the simple majority, 114 seats. Anil Desai, SS leader, said there is no question of taking the support of BJP to form the governing body. The SS has broken its ties with the BJP. In 2014, the BJP and SS fought the Lok Sabha elections together.

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