Navi Mumbai reported 48.35% turnout for the NMMC elections on Wednesday. The voting percentage in the city has dropped compared to the assembly elections when the figure was 51%.
A total of 3,94,061 voters of the total 8,15,067 registered voted in the elections at 774 polling booths for 111 seats in the civic body.
With the ballots having been cast, the stage is set to decide who will rule Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) for the next five years.
The civic body is under the control of Nationalist Congress Party leader Ganesh Naik since it was formed barring a couple of years from 1998-99 when he quit the Shiv Sena.
While the 2010 civic election was a cake walk for the NCP, with little opposition, this time the scenario is different.
With the NCP losing the Lok Sabha election and Naik himself defeated in the Assembly polls, the Shiv Sena-BJP combine is confident of coming to power.
The civic election this time has been contested for 111 seats -- in 2010, there were 89 wards. There are 568 candidates in fray.
While the NCP was hit by several of its sitting corporators quitting the party, the Shiv Sena-BJP has been hit by rebellion within its ranks and also due to rebels from the alliance partner.
After casting his vote, Ganesh Naik said, “We are confident of coming back to power in the civic body based on our development agenda. The people have appreciated it and all the negative campaigning is not going to work.”
The opposition is confident too.
BJP MLA Manda Mhatre said: “The change in the political scenario of Navi Mumbai has begun and it will be completed with the civic election. Our alliance is all set to gain power.”
Former city chief of Navi Mumbai unit of Shiv Sena, Vijay Chougule, said: “People want a change and Balasaheb’s dream of seeing the saffron flag flutter atop NMMC is going to be fulfilled.”