After frantic campaigning, which saw the Thackeray cousins engage in a bitter war of words, the people of Kalyan and Dombivli finally gave their verdict on Monday – a fractured mandate.
Political parties went into overdrive mode after the results for the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) polls were announced, to figure out possible permutations and combinations that can help them gain power in the 107 member civic body.
While the Shiv Sena-Bharat-iya Janata Party (BJP) combine is leading with 40 seats, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance is second with 29 seats. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has 27 seats and 11 independents complete the tally of 107.
As 54 seats is the minimum requirement for staking claim to the corporations, as of now no one has a clear mandate.
“Raj will have a say, unless the Sena does some magic. But, it’s bad news for Congress, NCP and the BJP,” said Surendra Jondhale, political analyst and head of department, political science, Mumbai University.
Number crunching shows that Raj Thackeray will call the shots. Even if the Sena-BJP manage to get all independents to vote for them, they will still stand at 51, which is 3 seats short.
The MNS can get its mayor elected only if one of the two combines — Congress-NCP or Sena-BJP — supports the party. “We are ready to join hands with anyone ready to work for the Marathi manoos and development. The decision will be taken by Raj Thackeray,” said MNS legislator Pravin Darekar.
The NCP-Congress, with 29 seats, will need the MNS to form majority even if all 11 independents stick by them.
NCP state president Madhu-kar Pichad said: “We would consult our members and decide whether to support the MNS.”
However, the Sena, are also confident of retaining power. “We already have about 6 independents. With the blessings of Balasaheb, we will sail through,” said Sena general secretary Anil Desai.
According to sources, the Sena is working on an arrangement like in Pune, where the NCP supported them. But, it can’t happen openly since the Congress and NCP have a pre-poll alliance. But, there is a possibility of NCP corporators remaining absent on voting day.