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No winner, power play on

A fractured mandate in the Kalyan-Dombivli civic polls has led to a stalemate as political parties are finding it difficult to forge alliances to win power in the civic body.

mumbai Updated: Nov 03, 2010 01:51 IST
Naresh Kamath

A fractured mandate in the Kalyan-Dombivli civic polls has led to a stalemate as political parties are finding it difficult to forge alliances to win power in the civic body.

The election results, declared on Monday, threw a hung house with the Sena-BJP winning 40 seats, the Congress-NCP winning 29 and the MNS bagging 27 seats. 11 independents complete the total civic house tally of 107 seats, but no party or alliance has clear majority of 54.

Any combination has become difficult, as all three parties/ alliances do not want to go with each other due to their different stands or rivalry.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who holds the key to power, has chosen not to reveal his plans yet. While the Congress has already declared that it would sit in the opposition, its alliance partner NCP has said it is in no hurry to take any decision.

"We need not think about winning power in Kalyan-Dombivli as we have not got enough numbers there," state NCP chief Madhukar Pichad has written to his Congress counterpart Manikrao Thakre.

Questions, however, remain over whether the Pune pattern — where the Sena-BJP shared power with NCP will prevail, or will the Ambernath exercise of bitter rivals Sena-MNS joining hands will reign in the twin cities of Kalyan-Dombivli.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, however, said in Pandharpur that his party would not go with communal parties like Sena-BJP.

"Can you trust Sharad Pawar’s statements, knowing his history," said Pravin Darekar, MNS legislator, who played a key role in the entire campaign. Eminent political analyst Uday Nirgudkar seconds Darekar’s view. "The mayor will be from the Sena supported by the NCP," said Nirgudkar, adding that the Congress being a national party couldn’t support both the Sena and MNS as that would hurt their vote bank.

The Ambernath formula seems unlikely, as it will Raj Thackeray the most. "After attacking Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Uddhav directly, Raj will lose his credibility if he aligns with the Sena," said Prakash Bal, political analyst. "Raj has his sights on Mumbai and Thane civic body, where the Sena rules, and he will not be effective if he chooses to be on the Sena’s side."

Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik was confident of the saffron party regaining power. "We are in an advantageous position considering we have a strength of 47 with support of 7 independents," said Sarnaik.