Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) showed a significant presence in the municipal corporation and district council elections held last week. The BJP polled the highest votes at 35.36%, up from 13.29 % in 2012 in nine corporations and 24.91% against 11.77% in 2012 in 25 district councils.
The vote share of the party in the corporation elections and councils increased by more than double, a distinction no other body has achieved in the recent past.
The party swept eight of the 10 corporations that went to poll last week. Barring Mumbai and Thane, all other municipal corporations, including Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Ulhasnagar and Nashik will have BJP mayors leading them. Similarly, in 10 district councils, the party has emerged as the single largest party, while in four it could come to power without the help of any other party. In Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has two seats more (total 84) and will need help from other parties to form local government, while in Thane, with 67 corporators in the 131-seat body, the Shiv Sena will form the body on its own.
In Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has polled 28.83% votes, followed by 27.92% votes polled by the BJP.
Sena has emerged as the second largest party in terms of vote share at 18.13% in nine municipal corporations, up from 12.96% in the 2012 elections. Similarly, the party’s vote share in the council elections has improved to 18.52% from 13.76%.
The Congress, which was founded in Mumbai, has gone down as the biggest loser in terms of the votes. Its share has dropped almost by 6.56% to 13.14% this time. The reduction in the vote share in the district councils, where the party assumably has a stronghold, is by 7.41% as its percentage dropped to 19.43.
NCP too has suffered a drastic setback in municipal corporations and district councils, though it managed to keep itself in the second position in district councils and third in corporations. The NCP has polled 14.88% votes against 18.30 % in 2012 in nine corporations, while its vote share in the district councils has dropped to 22.25 this time from 28.83, five years ago.
In Mumbai, Congress polled 16.54% votes, while NCP was thrown to sixth position (with 4.96%) followed by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (7.88%) and Independents (5.56%).
Significantly, since all four major parties were fighting independently, the vote share of the Independents have reduced drastically. In 10 municipal corporations, the independents polled merely 5.47% votes. The number was more than 13.56% in 2012. Similarly it has dropped to 5.32% in 2017 from 7.27 in 2012 in 25 district council elections.
Maharashtra has 27 municipal corporations and 33 district councils.