Shiv Sena is leading in early trends in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), while BJP is ahead on four civic bodies as counting of votes for BMC and nine other municipal corporations’ elections began this morning.
Counting was under way today for polls to 10 civic bodies, including cash-rich BMC, and 25 zilla Parishads and 283 panchayat samitis across Maharashtra, the results of which are likely to have a bearing on relations between BJP and Shiv Sena.
Apart from Mumbai, the municipal corporations which went to the polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
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 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, relegating the opposition Congress, NCP and other players like the MNS and the AIMIM to the background.
The Congress and NCP are also in fray in the polls, dubbed as the ‘mini-general elections’.
Mumbai recorded 55.53 per cent polling, highest in the last 25 years and ten per cent higher than 2012. The average voting in the Maharashtra municipal polls held on Tuesday was 56.40 per cent, against 48.59 per cent for the same in 2012.
Elections for the 227-member BMC took place on Tuesday and counting of votes will be taken up tomorrow. Besides Mumbai, elections were also held for nine other corporations.
Shiv Sena and BJP who have been projected by post-poll surveys as main rivals to come to power in India’s richest municipal corporation.
Sources in the Sena said the party’s internal survey shows it will win 110 out of the 202 seats it contested. On the other hand, sources in the BJP said the party is confident of bagging 108 seats on its own.
The half way mark to rule the civic body is 114 seats.
In case the BJP wins the BMC polls, we thought it would be fitting to remind you of what Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis promised.
The party promised 305 square feet houses for slum-dwellers under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme, if voted to power.
CM Fadnavis has also promised in situ rehabilitation of 50,000 slum-dwellers in the Mumbai airport area.
If the Sena loses the election, or there’s a significant drop in its tally, it could well result in the Sena having to take a back seat in its constant attack on the BJP, keeping in mind the upcoming 2019 elections.
The Shiv Sena has been controlling the BMC for the last two decades.