On the eve of the polls to one of the most powerful civic bodies in India, none of the political parties fighting for control of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation are confident of getting a simple majority.
Leaders of the two coalitions pitted against each other — the Congress-NCP and the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI — are uncertain whether they will touch the magic figure of 114 in the 227-member house.
Their anxiety indicates the possibility of a fractured mandate. “A clear majority seems a distant possibility. I see a hung house. But it depends on the voter turnout,” said Uday Nirgudkar, psephologist.
A hung house is a sign that the ruling alliance has failed to deliver on its promises, but that the opponents have not convinced people they will do a better job, he said.
A hung house is bad news for citizens as the ruling alliance will not be able to provide stable and effective governance.
“It’s going to be a very close fight. We are looking at 80 seats and hoping that the NCP brings in 20,” said a Congress MP, on condition of anonymity.
The saffron combine is jittery about how the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will split the Marathi vote bank. It is also worried about anti-incumbency after having ruled the BMC for 16 years.