Mumbai’s mayor will be elected on March 8 and given the numbers in the newly elected Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), it’s anybody’s guess who will win.
The Shiv Sena won 84 seats, the BJP 82, the Congress 31, the NCP 9, MNS 7, SP 6, AIMIM 2, ABS 1 and Independents 5. Here are five ways things could unfold:
1. Shiv Sena and BJP alliance:
After a bitter tussle, the two parties who are still allies in the Central and state governments come together and work out a power-sharing formula. The alliance returns to power in the BMC with a solid majority of 166 in the house of 227.
2. BJP supports Shiv Sena from outside:
Sena-BJP want to reunite but no consensus on how to share power as the Sena is adamant on not sharing the mayor’s post. BJP wants it as an ally in state so supports Sena from outside. No role for other parties.
3 Shiv Sena vs BJP:
The two parties fail to come together and decide to contest. Congress too fields its candidate. In a three-cornered contest, Sena or BJP whoever manages to get more votes wins. As of now the Sena claims a strength of 88 with the support of 4 independents while BJP has 82. The latter can score over the Sena if it gets votes from NCP (9) or MNS (7). Fifth independent as well as Akhil Bharatiya Sena (1) may also play a role.
4. Shiv Sena wins with the support of Congress-NCP:
The Congress (31) and the NCP (9) decide to support Shiv Sena. This combination will have 128 seats — 14 more than a simple majority. It may, however, lead to political instability in the state because the Congress has asked the Sena to pull out of the BJP-led government in state if it wants support.
5. Congress-NCP stay neutral, Sena wins with MNS support:
The Congress and the NCP abstain from voting. The Samajwadi Party (6) too has announced it will not support Sena or BJP. It will bring down the.civic house strength to 182 and the party securing 91 will win. In such a scenario, the MNS (7) will hold the key to victory. The MNS has said it will take a decision in favour of the Marathi manoos.