The results of the two civic bodies – Kalyan-Dombivili and Kolhapur – don’t spell out any clear winners despite the Shiv Sena emerging as the single largest party in Kalyan and the BJP-led alliance emerging as the single largest coalition in Kolhapur.
What the results do spell out is a rocky road ahead for the saffron allies turned rivals as they look all set to fight yet another round of a prestige battle to wrest control of the Kalyan civic body.
This tussle that has pitted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis against Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is likely to vitiate the ties between the allies further as neither is willing to concede defeat.
Sena is staking claim of the civic body by cobbling up the support of independents, while the BJP too has claimed that its seat tally is 48 (with the help of independents) and all options are open.
Thackeray’s meeting with all his party legislators as well as the state cabinet meeting on Tuesday will give an indication of how far the allies want to stretch their quarrel. But, sources said neither the Sena nor the BJP is keen on mid-term polls and will continue in the government even as their turf battle continues outside.
This ongoing strife in the saffron camp comes in the backdrop of a regrouped Congress-NCP opposition that is hoping to turn the electoral tide in its favour, as the Kolhapur results indicate.
For the BJP, it has been the case of ‘so close yet so far’. The political gamble by the ruling BJP in both cities yielded results but fell short of giving the party a clear mandate.
In Kalyan, the BJP managed an impressive performance winning 42 seats, up from the nine seats in the 2010 polls. The Sena managed to win 10 seats more and is just 9 seats short of a majority in a civic body it has controlled since 1983.
In Kolhapur, a Congress-NCP bastion, BJP tied up with a local outfit Tararani Front and managed to win 32 seats in the 81-member house. But, with Congress winning 27 seats, the key to getting their mayor in Kolhapur, would be to win over NCP. For now, Congress and NCP, natural allies have regrouped and are likely to get together to retain Kolhapur.