BMC Election 2017: What's next for the BJP and Devendra Fadnavis?

On Thursday, the BJP put on a remarkable performance winning 82 seats in the BMC election. Aside from the fact that this marks a 164.5 percent increase in the number of seats the party holds in the country's wealthiest civic body, it also signifies a changing view of the BJP in Maharashtra over the past five years. Additionally Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has emerged and been accepted as the face of the party in the state.

BMC Polls Seats won in 2017 Seats won in 2012 Difference Percentage change
BJP 82 31 +51 +164.5%
Shiv Sena 84 75 +9 +12%
Congress 31 52 -21 -40.4%
NCP 9 13 -4 -30.8%
MNS 7 28 -21 -75%
Others 14 13 +1 +7.7%

The party, particularly Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and Fadnavis, wants development and a transparent common minimum programme with the Shiv Sena. And to secure his own government in the state, Fadnavis wants an alliance with the Sena in the BJP, however, it would have to be on the BJP's terms and conditions. Tasked with the job of planning the BJP's strategy are Fadnavis, Shelar, Vinod Tawde and Chandrakant Patil.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis celebrates his party's performance in the BJP elections. PTI

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis celebrates his party's performance in the BMC elections. PTI

Meanwhile, the party's national president Amit Shah has sent messages to the state leaders saying that the party will not tie-up with the Sena in the BMC. Shah has suggested instead that the party attempt to seek the support of smaller parties and Independents and try to break up the Congress bloc (and lure rebels). But, he insisted, that another alliance with the Sena is to be avoided.

And the primary reason for this aversion to joining hands with Uddhav is the that the campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi (by the likes of Uddhav and other Sena members) has not gone down well with the BJP central leadership.

The message from the central leadership is that if a new solution cannot be worked out, then it's best to work for the city while sitting in the Opposition.

The mayoral election is set to be held before 8 March, by which point the party must decide on its future. With nearly two weeks in hand, it is believed that a final decision on post-poll alliances will be taken after a consultation with Shah during this period.

Will the BJP and Sena bury the hatchets? Only time will tell.

Updated Date: Feb 24, 2017 13:12 PM

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