The verdict in the elections to the 10 cities and 27 zilla parishads across Maharashtra says two things: No single party is in a position to win both the rural and the urban mandate, and it’s too early to write off the saffron combine’s presence.
The results reaffirm the old trend — while the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules the urban mandate, the rural electorate backs the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Touted as the mini-Assembly polls, these elections have broken the Congress-NCP alliance’s winning streak, which began with the 2009 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.
The unexpected winner is the Sena, which has retained Mumbai and Thane. It will give the party renewed strength in the 2014 polls.
The Congress has lost out in a big way in the metros. It failed miserably in Mumbai, losing 21 seats compared to 2007, while in Nashik and Pune, it will play second fiddle to the NCP.
The results will force the NCP to go slow on its plans to go solo in 2014. The party has won the highest number of Zilla Parishad seats, but it has failed to make inroads in Mumbai and does not have decisive wins in Nashik and Pune.
The BJP unexpectedly put up a better show than in 2007 in Mumbai, Nagpur and Akola.