Mumbai civic polls: Split Marathi votes may have cost Shiv Sena in 38 wards
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which bagged seven seats in the recently-concluded BMC elections , may have damaged the fortunes of at least 38 Shiv Sena candidates as both the Sena and the MNS share a common vote bank in the Marathis, according to experts.mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2017 01:11 IST
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which bagged seven seats in the recently-concluded BMC elections , may have damaged the fortunes of at least 38 Shiv Sena candidates as both the Sena and the MNS share a common vote bank in the Marathis, according to experts. The MNS polled a total of 3,94,653 votes.
In the case of the BMC’s standing committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse, who lost by 502 votes from Lokhandwala complex, the MNS candidate polled 539 votes. Similarly, in ward no. 220, where BJP’s Atul Shah and Sena candidate Surendra Bagalkar were tied at 5,946 votes each, after which the former was declared winner through lottery, the MNS was able to garner 752 votes.
Though MNS, whose tally came down from 28 seats in the 2012 election to seven now, has been marginalised in the city’s corridors of power, it still plays an important role as both the Sena and BJP have not been able to get a majority in the civic house.
According to a source, though both the Sena and BJP have opened back-room negotiations with the MNS, its chief Raj Thackeray is keenly watching the way things are moving and will announce his strategy later.
Party leader Nitin Sardesai said that nothing is in the offing till now. “No one has approached us till now for support,” said Sardesai.
However, MNS sources say that Raj Thackeray is angry with his cousin and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for spurning his pre-poll alliance offer. “Rajsaheb is angry as Uddhav did not even respond to his calls. He has made his displeasure known to Sena intermediaries, saying that an understanding between the two parties would have resulted in Sena capturing power.”
“Though BJP leaders also called him, he has not given any such commitment till now,” said the MNS leader, who did not wish to be named.
According to political experts, Raj will bargain with both parties. “He will go with the party, which offers him the best deal in terms of various committees,” said Surendra Jondhale, political commentator.