BMC elections: Five things the verdict tells us about Sena-BJP’s power equation | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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BMC elections: Five things the verdict tells us about Sena-BJP’s power equation

The Shiv Sena barely retained its citadel, the results for the Mumbai municipal polls showed on Thursday. But it was the BJP’s show, as the party stunned everyone by improving its tally from 31 to 81 seats.

mumbai Updated: Feb 24, 2017 09:39 IST
HT Correspondent
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the BMC headquarters in Mumbai, in January 2017. The result of the BMC elections could see the collapse of the 25-year-old Sena-BJP alliance.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the BMC headquarters in Mumbai, in January 2017. The result of the BMC elections could see the collapse of the 25-year-old Sena-BJP alliance.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT File Photo)

The Shiv Sena barely retained its citadel, the results for the Mumbai municipal polls showed on Thursday. But it was the BJP’s show, as the party stunned everyone by improving its tally from 31 to 81 seats. The Congress was almost wiped out in the country’s financial capital.

Here are five things that the civic election verdict tells us:

1.The Sena’s three-decade hold on Mumbai has now weakened with ally BJP winning almost as many seats in the country’s richest civic agency — the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The Sena’s clout across the Marathi vote bank is also slipping and the BJP is emerging as its biggest contender.

2. The score in Mumbai and a clear lead in seven cities out of the 10 civic bodies that went to the polls show the BJP has captured the urban mandate in Maharashtra. The party has consolidated its 2014 assembly win and gained across all civic agencies. It also pocketed big victories in district council polls that govern rural areas, where it formerly stood a poor fourth.

3. The BJP’s win has come at the cost of the Congress, followed by the Sena in Mumbai. On the whole, the BJP has eaten into the Congress space in all big cities. The Congress’s internal rivalries, poor discipline and organisational mess, according to political pundits, is at the root if its defeat in Mumbai.

4. Demonetisation was not a factor in these polls. The country’s financial hub, most of the big cities and even rural areas didn’t punish the BJP for the government’s decision to recall 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, thereby wiping out 86% of the cash in circulation. Maratha reservation, the other big issue that rocked Maharashtra last year, did not have an impact either.

5. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who helmed his party’s campaign, consolidated his position in the BJP as well as the state polity with this victory. The BJP’s performance will give Fadnavis an upper hand over Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. The victory could give more stability to his government as the Sena is unlikely to pull out at this stage from the ruling coalition.