It’s going to be a year full of political events, with 26 district councils and 10 municipal corporations going to polls next month, followed by elections to seven civic bodies in May-June and one in October.
This means, 6.25 crore voters, of 8.15 crore voters in the state, will practice their fundamental right to vote.
The State Election Commission is expected to announce elections for the 26 district councils and 10 municipal corporations by the end of this week or early next week. The five-year term of the 10 municipal corporations will end between March and April, and the term of the district councils end on March 20 this year.
Apart from Mumbai and Thane, the municipal corporations of Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Ulhasnagar, Amravati, Pimpri-Chinchawad, Solapur and Akola will also face elections in the second or third week of February. Six other municipal corporations, including Bhiwandi, will have elections in May-June. Mira-Bhayandar will go to polls in July-August, and the Nanded-Waghola corporation, in October this year. Of the 33 district councils or Zilla Parishad that govern districts, 26 will go to polls along with civic bodies in one or two phases.
In the three phases of elections to municipal councils in the past two months, more than 70 lakh voters exercised their franchise. These polls were also significant for the Bhartiya Janata Party, which jumped from the fourth to the first position in terms of seats won in municipal council.
In district councils and municipal corporations, currently the BJP stands fourth in terms of the number of sitting corporators, while the Congress and the NCP have the highest numbers, respectively.
In the 17 municipal corporations, Congress has 509 corporators, followed by NCP’s 385, Shiv Sena’s 301 and BJP’s 264.
In the 26 district councils, Nationalist Congress Party leads with 518 members, followed by Congress ‘ 438, Sena’s 241 and BJP’s 187.
While BJP leaders claim the party will retain the trend seen in the municipal council elections, by winning the most seats, political analysts say the results at civic bodies are largely dependent on local equations and issues.
“The civic elections are fought on local issues and equations, which vary from district to district. The victory in the civic election cannot be a parameter to test performance of the state and Union governments. The trend of the result of the municipal councils may or may not retain same in the upcoming elections,” said Suhas Palashikar, political observer.