February 23, 2017 9:05:07 pm
The Shiv Sena on Thursday emerged as the single largest party in the cash-rich BMC winning 84 seats, closely trailed by BJP which bagged 82 seats in a total of 227 seats. Congress received a huge setback as it was relegated to the third position with 31 seats, followed by NCP with 9, MNS with 7, AIMIM with 3, Samajwadi Party with 6, Akhil Bharatiya Sena with 1 and others with 4.
WATCH VIDEO | A Quick Look At Final Tally Of BMC Election & PMC Election Results 2017
This keenly-contested election also witnessed BJP’s Atul Shah getting elected through a lottery. Shah contested from ward number 220 in Girgaum, a Shiv Sena stronghold. He and his rival Surendra Bagalkar of Shiv Sena won the same number of votes: 5,496. After holding a recount thrice in the presence of candidates, BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta had to rush to the counting centre in Mumbai Central area as the tally didn’t change.
BJP’s victory was more significant as the party said it could wrest control of the civic body with the support of independents. But it is not yet clear whether the saffron allies, who share power both in Maharashtra and at the Centre, will get back together or new combinations will emerge. The Shiv Sena has controlled the BMC for the last two decades with the BJP remaining a junior partner. But Sena’s game plan to go alone in its bastion appeared to have failed to pay off.
Celebrations soon played out outside BJP’s Dadar office as party workers eagerly welcomed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who addressed a press conference soon after. The chief minister said BJP’s victory resulted from a vote for transparency and demonetisation. A visibly ecstatic Fadnavis said the party’s core committee will decide the future course of action in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
“I thank people of Maharashtra, it’s an unprecedented victory.This is a vote for transparency,” Fadnavis told the press conference, adding “All decisions for the party are taken by its core committee. Whether or not to go for an alliance will be decided when I, (Maharashtra BJP President) Raosaheb Danve, (Mumbai BJP chief) Ashish Shelar sit and look at the prevailing situation.” The chief minister also rallied support for the Centre’s demonetisation move in his speech when he said, “The results are an ample indication that people have accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s note ban move and the state government’s transparency plank.”
Fadnavis said the BMC results and other municipal corporations has made the BJP more humble and that they would concentrate on good governance. “This is a victory of demonetisation. The move was to end corruption and weed out black money. The results have proven people have faith in Modi ji’s governance,” he said.
As per the results, BJP is also set to gain control of at least six civic bodies — Pune, Nashik, Ulhasnagar, Akola, Nagpur and Amravati — out of the 10 corporations for which the elections were held on Tuesday. The BJP also appeared to have expanded its base in Pimpri Chinchwad, despite fierce competition from the NCP.
Halfway between polling, Congress’ state chief Sanjay Nirupam offered to resign following party’s bad performance. In a statement to news agency ANI, Nirupam said some big leaders within party deliberately made statements on party’s work and me. This result is outcome of their anti party campaigns,” he said. BJP’s Pankaja Munde also offered to resign after the party lost 8 out of 10 seats in Parli, her constituency. But during the press conference, Fadnavis said he won’t accept Pankaja’s resignation. “In election it happens that we loose and win,” he added.
Along with the Congress, the NCP took a drubbing too as its leader Supriya Sule said after the results that the party lost three municipal corporations and a zilla parishad to the BJP. “It is definitely a setback and we need to introspect and rebuild our party,” she said.
In the meantime, high on confidence after Shiv Sena’s massive show in the polls, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said that not “just Mumbai Mayor but the next chief minister of Maharashtra will also be from Shiv Sena.” Thackeray, however, didn’t speak anything about the post-poll alliance. When asked about the future course of action, Thackeray said, “What is the hurry? Wait for some time. We have not yet decided if an alliance has to be made or not. We will do so soon.”
Noting that the “overwhelming blessings” in Maharashtra came after Odisha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘thanked each and every Indian for continuously placing their faith in BJP’ and said “We are working determinately to create a strong and inclusive India.” In a series of tweets, PM Modi praised BJP workers, particularly Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state party president Raosaheb Danve Patil, for tirelessly working for the people.
Meanwhile, the BJP made big gains in nine other civic bodies’ elections in Maharashtra.
In the Pune Municipal Corporation elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party triumphed over its erstwhile rival Nationalist Congress Party by tripling its seat-share from the previous polls in 2012. The BJP, however, fell short of four seats from achieving a full majority as it notched up victories in 77 seats — up from its previous tally of 26. The NCP got 44, Shiv Sena 10, Congress 16 and MNS six.
City Guardian Minister and BJP leader Girish Bapat credited the BJP-led governments at the Centre and State for its grand showing in Pune. He claimed Pune residents rejected the NCP and Congress because of their laggard attitude towards the key civic issues. “The credit for the win goes to the good governance and decision making shown by State and Centre governments, hardwork by party workers and terrible governance of PMC by Congress and NCP in last 15 years. Puneites knew that it wasn’t just sloganeering. The metro project wasn’t only cleared but a huge budgetary allocation too was made,” Bapat said.
The polling contest was quite close in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. The BJP propelled ahead with 58 seats, while the ruling NCP got 29 seats in the 128-member house. In Thane Municipal Corporation polls, Shiv Sena retained control over the 131-member house with 60 seats, the NCP bagged 31 and the BJP got 21. In 78-seat Ulhasnagar, the BJP received 32 seats and Shiv Sena 25. The NCP got four, Congress received one and independents and others got 16.
BJP took away Nagpur as well bagging 91 of the civic body’s 151 seats. The Congress received 23, and the NCP bagged one seat. In Nashik, the BJP appeared on way to controlling the civic body, winning 55 seats out of 112 seats. The Shiv Sena got 35 seats, while the ruling Maharashtra Navnirman Sena was relegated to just three. The Congress and NCP fared better than MNS with six and five seats respectively.
In Nashik, BJP seems to be on its way to control the civic body, winning 55 seats out of 112 seats. Sena bagged 35 seats, while the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was relegated to just three. The Congress and NCP got six and five seats respectively.
(With inputs from agencies)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.