February 23, 2017 6:05:38 pm
The Shiv Sena’s performance in BMC and Thane municipal polls has been astounding. But, the show of strength has been of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar claimed the BJP’s seats have gone up three times from last time while Sena had a marginal increase. Taking a look at the numbers, the win looks impressive.
In 2012 civic polls for BMC, Thane, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Nashik and Nagpur, BJP won a combined 143 seats while the Shiv Sena bagged 183. The breakup is as follows:
Claiming that BJP has come out as the stronger party in this election, Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP president, said, “BJP’s win is bigger than Shiv Sena’s. While Shiv Sena seats gone up marginally from last elections, our seats have gone up three times.”
The numbers till 5:30 pm show a good picture for this year’s elections and the performance of both the parties.
The BJP has already registered victory on 352 seats while the Sena has won 187 till now. It is clear that the BJP has made strong inroads into the Sena and NCP vote banks. Congress vote bank has also split between BJP and Congress.
Looking retrospectively, BJP demanded 114 seats for BMC elections – 51 per cent – this time and the fact that both parties won almost the equal number of seats shows that the BJP has in a way justified its claim that it was no longer a junior partner. Even back in 2014, seat sharing talks broke up between the two parties when BJP demanded equal seats for the 288 seat Maharashtra Assembly but Sena didn’t budge. Ultimately BJP won 122 and Sena could only manage 63.
In 2009, Sena had fought on 169 and BJP on 119. But these elections have changed the picture completely. In fact, by the looks of it, BJP comes across as the dominant political force in the state.
It also raises a point that if the parties stayed together, they could share enormous political clout in the state and could win by even stronger margins in 2019 elections for the state and perhaps the Lok Sabha as well. The two key takeaways from the elections then remain Uddhav Thackeray’s coming of age and BJP’s emergence as perhaps the strongest party in the state with proven hold on civic levels as well. NCP and Congress take back seat.
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