BMC Election 2017: BJP need not work hard for Congress-mukt India, party already on self-destruct mode
The results of civic body polls may not mean much from the perspective of wider politics. The trend of the outcome may be different in elections at higher levels. But they reflect strength of parties on the ground. They indicate their cadre power and capacity to find their feet after an electoral blow or two. It also is way of getting a measure of rivals. The tally in the 10 civic body polls reveals that the Congress is losing ground fast. Even the strongholds are not so anymore. Being in the same bracket as the NCP and the MNS is certainly not a happy situation.
Here is the final list of winners in Mumbai civic body polls
The results of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election has surprised everyone including the Shiv Sena, which hoped to gain a clear majority. In the initial phase of the polls, BJP was leading but by the end of the counting, both the parties were neck to neck. The Shiv Sena on Thursday emerged as the single largest party in the cash-rich BMC winning 84 seats, closely followed by BJP which bagged 82 seats, as results for the 227 seats poured in. While the Shiv Sena did well in the Zilla Parishads, it suffered setbacks in the municipal corporations. Click here to access the list of all the winners so far.
Editor's note: Firstpost couldn't verify the names of 45 winners in the BMC election, hence their names have not been included in the list.
Elated Modi thanks Maharashtra for BJP's performance in local body elections | ANI
It's been a great start to 2017.First unprecedented support in Odisha&now overwhelming blessings from ppl of Maharashtra: PM Modi (file pic) pic.twitter.com/0r2HhTFUBu
BJP gets a step closer to its objective of a Congress-muktaBharat
Even though BJP didn't receive a clear majority in the BMC election, its performance in the 10 municipal bodies whose results were declared on Thursday seems to have made one thing clear: it's a step closer to achieving its objective of making a Congress-muktaBharat.
BJP no longer a second fiddle to regional parties: Arun Jaitley
Finance minister Arjun Jaitley is impressed with the performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the local government elections in Odisha, Maharashtra and other states. Speaking to ANI, Jaitley said, "Since May 2014 India has seen many state and local elections. BJP has increased its vote in each of these elections."
The BJP leader added that the BJP has done exceedingly well in Maharashtra, Haryana and Assam where it traditionally played a second fiddle to regional parties. Jaitley also mentioned the party's performance in the local government elections in Odisha saying that "BJP is capable of winning major states on its own".
The minister also said that BJP has now become a pan-India party is fast spreading its wings across the country as compared to the Congress, which has been squeezed out to third or fourth place in most local body elections.
Since May,2014 India has seen many State & local elections.BJP has increased its vote in each of these elections: FM Arun Jaitley (File Pic) pic.twitter.com/KKNnHBewvB
"Even the seats that we lost were often lost by extremely narrow margins. This could have been very comfortable for us had those results gone in our favour," rues Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray.
Uddhav Thackeray non-committal about alliance with BJP at state government
"Nobody else in the country has the same party retained power at a municipal corporation for five times in a row. This is a historic win for us, and this is not the time for us to talk about the state government. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and I haven't spoken today," said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
BJP, Shiv Sena may not admit to it, but they need each other
The BJP and Shiv Sena are neck and neck in the number of seats won in the BMC election. Even though the BJP picked up a lot more seats than ever before, it fell short of its goal — taking control of civic affairs. The news isn't good since either party would need support to take control of the BMC, making an alliance hard to forge and sustain.
Sena retains hold, BJP makes huge gains, but smaller parties hold key to power
The possibilities are immense for both, the Sena and the BJP, are likely to stake claim for power: The Sena, as the single largest party, assuming office with the help of non-BJP parties; the BJP assuming office with the help of non-Sena parties; and the Sena and BJP forming a post-poll alliance in return for a political deal in the state and central governments. But whatever the outcome, the saffron partners have belittled the Congress and the NCP.
"There have been many thousands of voters whose names have gone missing from the lists. This is a grave problem, and needs to be investigated. We need to check if a conspiracy is afoot," said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Congress should take a long and hard look at its failure: Omar Abdullah
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah suggested the Congress take a "long and hard" look at its failure in Maharashtra civic body polls, saying he will "truly despair" about 2019 Lok Sabha elections if the results of Assembly polls in five states on 11 March go the
same way. "If 11/03/2017 goes this way, I will truly despair for what it will mean for the battle of 2019 which is the one that really matters," Omar wrote on Twitter following BJP's good showing in the civic body polls in Maharashtra.
Uddhav Thackeray to also address media
After his party claimed first place in the BMC election, albeit by the most slender of margins, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will address the media, in which he is likely to spell out his party's plans for the future.
In Ward No 220 in South Mumbai, Shiv Sena's Surendra Bhagalkar and BJP's Atul Shah had the exact same number of votes. Counting took place on three separate occasions, but threw up the same figure each time. The final winner will be picked by BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta through a lottery system.
Demonetisation just one part of our anti-corruption plank
"We have done well throughout Maharashtra. We fought this elections on the promise of anti-corruption, of which demonetisation is just one part. It's clear the people of the state have accepted our vision," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said.
Fadnavis non-committal about post-poll tie-ups
"A core committee will decide any possible post-poll alliances or tie-ups with different parties," Devendra Fadnavis has said after his BJP party won 81 seats in Mumbai.
Used same agenda that we used at Centre and state levels: Fadnavis
"Mumbai has come out and voted in favour of BJP. The agenda we used at the national and state level, we also used successfully here. And not just in Mumbai, we also won six other cities across the state," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said.
Credit to Modi, Fadnavis, says BJP
"For this, we give credit to Narendra Modi's guidance and CM Devendra Fadnavis, who promoted clean governance," the BJP has said.
PINNED POST: Sanjay Sawant and Aashray Hariharan deconstruct the election
With BJP putting up a great show, winning eight municipal corporations that had civic polls on Tuesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will speak to the media and discuss his party's plans for the cities they have won.
BJP claims 81 seats, support of four more corporators
BJP's Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar declares party's win on 81 seats and claims support of 4 other corporators. (File pic) pic.twitter.com/Y3JMrbTfVc
The BJP had strategically started planning for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) elections, even before the 2014 Lok Sabha election took place. Even while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections was taking place, the party's long-term target appeared to be the civic elections. They systematically activated the RSS cadre and old timers in the city. The first signs of victory came with BJP candidate Anil Shirole winning becoming MP from Pune. The BJP wave then swept the NCP and Congress away, winning all eight seats during the legislative Assembly polls held later that year. And it culminated in Thursday's win which gives them control of the city at the Centre, state and civic levels.
Shiv Sena supporters take out a bike rally outside Sena Bhavan
Sanjay Nirupam accepts blame for Congress' poor show, offers to quit
Talking to reporters on Thursday after election results were announced, Congress' Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam launched a broadside against party leaders in the city who, he said, wished that the Congress lose the elections, an apparent reference to AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat. "In their aim to defeat me, they caused immense harm to the party," he said.
An untoward incident took place outside Matoshree as celebratory fireworks went out of control and torched a tree in Kalanagar. The residents of Kalanagar had to take it upon themselves to douse the fire, while the police looked on. The fire has now been put out, thanks to the presence of mind of the locals. A fire tender arrived, but the blaze was already under control.
Situated in the densely-populated Muslim-dominated area of Nagpada, this is AIMIM's Mumbai headquarters. It was deserted when I got there and while there were no party officials in sight, the general sense I got from the few people hanging around the office was that party saw the result as a complete rout.
Having contested in 57 wards, the AIMIM has only won three seats so far.
Shiv Sena supporters celebrate outside the counting centre near Deepak Talkies
BJP narrowing gap
Though Shiv Sena stormed ahead in the first few hours of counting, BJP has narrowed the gap and has begun clawing back in seats where counting is currently on. As of now, Shiv Sena is leading in 93 seats while BJP is leading in 70.
Mumbai: Elections to the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and nine other civic bodies in Maharashtra, which have virtually turned into a battle of prestige for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, heading the state's first BJP-led government, and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, will be held on Tuesday. Apart from the ten civic bodies, the second phase of polling for 11 Zilla Parishads (ZPs) and 118 panchayat samitis will also be conducted on Tuesday.
Dubbed as a "mini Assembly election", over 1.95 crore voters across the state are entitled to exercise their franchise to choose representatives for ten city corporations, while over 1.80 crore people can cast their votes in the ZP and panchayat samiti polls. "Collectively, 3.77 crore voters are eligible to decide the fate of 17,331 candidates in rural and urban areas, including Mumbai," State Election Commissioner J S Saharia told reporters here, adding that the election machinery is fully geared up to ensure free and fair voting.
Stakes are high for Fadnavis and Thackeray, who have led their respective parties from the front and were involved in a high decibel and no holds barred campaign. Bitter acrimony between BJP and Shiv Sena that are fighting the civic polls separately for the first time in over two decades, marked the electioneering. Congress, NCP and MNS are also in the fray.
Saharia said for the 1,268 seats across the ten municipal corporations, 9,208 candidates are in the fray, whereas for 11 ZPs, total 2,956 candidates will try their luck for 654 seats. For the 1,288 seats across 118 panchayat samitis, total 5,167 candidates are in the fray. "As many as 43,160 polling booths have been set up. There will be 2.76 lakh election staff and equal number of police personnel on the duty," Saharia said.
BMC. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
In Mumbai, the country's financial capital, total 2,275 candidates are in fray for the 227 seats. 92 lakh people are eligible to cast the vote in the megapolis, he said, adding that there will be 7,304 polling stations. In municipal corporations excluding Mumbai, there are multi–member wards, where a voter will have to cast his vote for each of the category in the panel. Each panel has more than two wards.
The big poll focus is on BMC, retaining control of which is vital for Shiv Sena as the city has remained its prime political space ever since the party's formation in 1966. Shiv Sena has been
in power in BMC for over two decades. BJP, which had been a junior partner of Sena before it gained the upper hand through the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, declined to accept the number of seats offered by the Sena. It has set its eyes on gaining power in BMC, one of the world's largest city bodies, boasting of an annual budget of over Rs 37,000 crore.
Besides Mumbai, the other municipal corporations going to polls on Tuesday include Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Akola, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Solapur. Giving a break-up of candidates in the nine civic bodies, Saharia said 805 candidates are contesting polls for the 131-member Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), 479 for the 78-member Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC), 774 for the 128 seats in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and 623 are in the fray for the 102-member Solapur Municipal Corporation (SMP).
Similarly, for the 122-member Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), there are 821 candidates in the fray, whereas for the 80-member Akola Municipal Corporation (AMC), 579 candidates
are fighting the election. For the 151-member Nagpur civic corporation, there are 1,135 candidates in fray, while for the 162 seats of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), a total 1,090 candidates are
contesting the election, Saharia said.
Giving details of the implementation of the code of conduct, Saharia said over 200 illegal weapons were seized in different parts of the state in which 188 weapons were seized from areas under municipal corporations. Police seized three lakh litres of liquor, he said, adding that the Excise Department seized alcohol worth over Rs four crore, Saharia said. According to him, 338 cases of poll code violations were registered, he said, adding that as many as 371 persons were externed. "Action of preventive detention was taken against 33,000 people, including 3,000 in Mumbai. Cash worth Rs 61 lakh was seized," he said.
According to Saharia, for 11 ZPs, there are 22,000 polling stations and 1.5 lakh election staff will be on duty "for the ten municipal corporations, there are 21,000 polling stations and 1.3 lakh election staff will be on duty," he said.