Go and vote, then keep your fingers crossed and hope that the civic polls don’t throw up a fractured mandate.
On the eve of the polls, none of the leading political coalitions – the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI and the Congress-NCP – are confident about a simple majority, which means that we may get saddled with “too many rulers”.
A hung house in the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is bad news for citizens.
“It’s a terrible portent for Mumbai because in the absence of a clear majority, there will be zero accountability and transparency. The leading party will be insecure and unable to roll out any clear programmes for the city’s development,” said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.
The bid to keep everyone happy will lead to more corruption, Jondhale said.
The Congress-NCP coalition has been running the state for 10 years, and the state has suffered because of their squabbling and blame games.
In the BMC, the scenario will be worse as crucial issues will take a back seat.
Independents or corporators that prop up the ruling combine will to insist on key positions in the BMC. It’s unlikely that their motive will be the city’s betterment.
In his usual outspoken manner, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has said he would prefer to sit in Opposition to a fractured mandate. That’s ironical considering that the MNS is expected to contribute in a large way to it.
If the MNS wins 20 to 25 seats, the BMC is heading for a hung house, where one of the coalitions will need his support as well as that of Independents. If the MNS gets more than 30 seats, it’s more confusion.
One reason the Congress-NCP combine is finding its initial estimates going awry is that it relied heavily on the MNS factor. “Our strategy and campaigning may fail us. We counted on the MNS to play the spoilsport, but reports show we may have over-relied on that factor,” said a Congress leader, who hopes his alliance touches the 100 mark.
“Then we can cobble together the support of Independents and take control of the civic body,” he added.
The Sena hopes to win 70 to 80 seats, and is counting on the BJP and RPI to touch 100.
“It’s clear that political parties have been unable to win the people’s trust. Now it all depends on the voter turnout. A 60% turnout is a clear vote for change and is anti-incumbency,” said Uday Nirgudkar, psephologist.