BMC Election Results 2017: Sorry Shiv Sena, BJP won Maharashtra comprehensively, now step back

Even as Shiv Sena has turned out as the single largest party in the BMC, BJP is the clear winner as the party has grown exponentially by almost three times and has bagged 80 seats up from the earlier 31 seats. Additionally, BJP announced the support from 4 other corporators, eclipsing Shiv Sena’s number.

Even as Shiv Sena has turned out as the single largest party in the BMC, BJP is the clear winner as the party has grown exponentially by almost three times and has bagged 80 seats up from the earlier 31 seats. Additionally, BJP announced the support from 4 other corporators, eclipsing Shiv Sena’s number. This move has opened up new opportunities for BJP. Shiv Sena might now be forced to join hands with BJP or be ready to lose out. It might come as a massive shock for Shiv Sena if BJP stakes claim to rule the BMC, especially after independents extending support. This was the first Mumbai civic polls since 1997 to see the Sena and the BJP contesting independently, where it was a prestige issue for both the parties. The election results will probably lead to another round of battle between the two erstwhile partners who would either have to join hands or compete for tacit support from smaller parties as well as independents to gain power.

In the run-up to the civic polls, there was a lot at stake for both Shiv Sena and the BJP, two saffron allies for over 20 years, who have been going through a fallout. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had openly criticised the BJP government in the state under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation scheme. For the most part of the day, it looked as if the Shiv Sena would run away with an absolute majority for more time but BJP changed gears towards the end of the day and raced to 81 seats. Although, since none of the parties gained the required 114 seats to reach an absolute majority, the picture still remains unclear as to who will take over the reigns of the richest Municipal corporation in the world.

In 2012, Sena had won 75 seats while its ally BJP won 31 seats. This happened in the presence of Sena founder Bal Thackeray. It seems his son Udhhav has now come of the age by winning over 80 seats. Moreover, he has further undermined his cousin Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which could win only 7. In 2012, MNS had won 28 seats in the BMC. Both Sena and BJP may have claimed separate reasons behind their separation, it is certain that the fight was for stamping their influence across the state and particularly Mumbai.

Also read | BMC Election results 2017: Here are the key takeaways from the civic polls

Sena may not be able to make much dent into the rising citadels of BJP across Maharashtra, but Uddhav’s party has definitely occupied the Congress’ space. And it can do so only by following a path independent of the BJP. Meanwhile, PM Modi has passed the demonetisation test with flying colours. The election results of civic bodies, not only in Mumbai but also in other big cities in Maharashtra showcase a big win for BJP. While the opposition kept criticising PM Modi’s demonetisation move, it is now clear where the people’s mandate lies. Clearly, the demonetisation did not have a negative effect on people of the state so much so that it could affect the election chances of BJP. Even Uddhav Thackeray’s desperate attempts to diss the note ban move, where he eventually decided to part ways with BJP in the run-up to the polls, did not have any effect on BJP’s chances. With the four independents deciding to join BJP after the results, BJP has emerged as the largest party in BMC, as of now. In 2012, BJP had won just 31 seats. This is almost a 3 fold jump in BJP tally.

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