Early trends show that Shiv Sena is leading in 77 seats, followed by the BJP and Congress. Sena candidates in South, Western and Central Mumbai have a comfortable lead over the BJP.
In the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Sena is so far is leading in 77 seats and BJP in 44. The Congress is leading in 16 seats and MNS in nine seats. A similar trend is showing in Thane with Sena leading in 30 wards .
Based on the early projections, it is likely that Shiv Sena will cross the 100-mark and BJP might manage to win 60 to 70 seats.
Firstpost's Sanjay Sawant writes:
"Shiv Sena is going in with a huge advantage: 21.84 percent as against the BJP’s 8.64 percent. It’s immediately apparent that the climb to electoral Mount Everest is about three times more difficult for the BJP.
Arithmetic suggests that if it’s a two-way fight, there will be a clear winner. And the probability that it will be the Shiv Sena is far greater. What this means is simple. Uddhav Thackeray taking this away is the normal. BJP taking it way will be a stunner."
In Pune and Nagpur, it is the BJP that has taken the lead. In the Nagpur Municipal Corporation, the BJP has been ruling for the last 10 years. The fact that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' hometown is Nagpur and that he has actively campaigned for the civic polls will probably work in the party's favour. Even Union minister Nitin Gadkari has campaigned for the civic polls.
In Pimpri Chinchwad, where Ajit Pawar has considerable influence, NCP is leading.
Counting got underway for polls to 10 civic bodies, including cash-rich BMC, and 25 zilla parishads and 283 panchayat samitis across Maharashtra at 10 am.
Nearly 56 percent voters had exercised their right to franchise during the elections to the 10 municipal corporations held on Tuesday. The Mumbai civic body BMC recorded about 55 percent turn-out.
Besides, 69 percent of the electorate cast their votes in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis.
The stakes are high for Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who led their respective parties from the front and were involved in a high decibel and no-holds-barred campaign.
Apart from Mumbai, the municipal corporations which went to the polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2017 12:27:50 IST