BJP maintains winning streak in Maharashtra; Sena tops Mumbai tally

Friday, Feb 24, 2017,12:26 IST By anju A A A

Mumbai | The BJP on Thursday scored a resounding victory in Maharashtra civil polls emerging as the largest party in eight of the 10 municipal corporations while finishing a close second to bellicose ally Shiv Sena in the latter’s Mumbai bastion.

BJP was the number one party in Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur. Shiv Sena led the tally in Mumbai and adjoining Thane.

Making giant strides in the Shiv Sena citadel of Mumbai, BJP won 82 seats in the fiercely fought BMC polls, just two less than the estranged saffron ally, but both were well short of the magic figure of 114 needed to control the civic body.

The hung verdict will reset the political calculations as no party is in the position to rule the country’s richest civic body on its own and alliance seems inevitable.

However, 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.

In the counting of votes held today, the Congress was relegated to the third position with 31 seats, whereas the NCP and the Raj Thackeray’s MNS were reduced to 9 and 7 seats, respectively.

AIMIM, which had made its maiden entry into the Maharashtra Assembly with two seats in the last polls, won three seats on debut in the BMC elections, Samajwadi Party six, Akhil Bhartiya Sena one and Independents four.

For the 25 zilla parishads, BJP led the tally, winning 397 of the 1,509 seats for which polls were held. It was followed by NCP 336, Congress 293 and Shiv Sena 259. MNS got one and others 147. Results of 76 seats were awaited till late night.

For the 2,990 Panchayat Samiti seats, BJP got the lion’s share, winning 803, while NCP got 630, Congress 555 and Sena 538. MNS pocketed just two and others 281 seats.
Results of the 181 seats were awaited till late night.

Thanking the voters, an elated Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Our victory is the result of people’s acceptance of our agenda of transparency,” and indicated that his party’s core committee would explore the options before it.

Asked about the future course of action, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav 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.”

With BMC polls throwing no clear winner, a senior Maharashtra BJP leader said both the parties should join hands in Mumbai.

“Enough of bitterness. Now, it’s time to come together again,” Chandrakant Patil, minister in the Devendra Fadnavis ministry said, indicating that the bickering allies in the state government could come together after today’s fractured verdict.

“Is there any option other than the two parties coming together, given the number of seats each one has bagged? Will they (Shiv Sena) take support of Congress?” Patil, known to have excellent rapport with the central BJP leadership, said.

In January, BJP had emerged the number one party in polls for 212 municipal bodies, winning 1,207 seats followed by the Congress (919), NCP (788) and Shiv Sena (616).