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5 reasons why BJP has become the face of urban population in Maharashtra

The Bharatiya Janata Party has won the 12th of the 17 civic body elections held this year

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2017 12:30 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,BJP,Maharashtra
The party’s biggest win has been in the (File)

With the Mira-Bhayander satellite city under its belt, the BJP won the 12th of the 17 civic body elections held this year.

Here’s a look at five reasons why the BJP has emerged the face of urban mandate in Maharashtra

1. Winning streak in cities

Of the 22 civic polls to big cities held since 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party managed to gain control over 12 on its own. It controls the other two with its ally-turned rival Shiv Sena.

2. Force to reckon with in Mumbai

The party’s biggest win has been in the country’s richest civic body, where it won 82 seats just two short of Shiv Sena. While the BJP did not contest mayoral election and conceded victory to Sena, it is now in a position to challenge the tiger’s bastion for the past three decades. Of the 36 legislators in Mumbai, the biggest representation is shared between BJP (15 legislators) and Sena (14 legislators). By strengthening presence in city, the BJP is now in position to gain more seats at the cost of Sena.

3. The largest party in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region

The BJP has emerged the single largest party in the MMR, the state’s biggest urban agglomeration including Mumbai and its eight satellite cities. The party controls three cities on its own, including Panvel, Ulhasnagar and Mira Bhayander and runs the Kalyan-Dombivili corporation along with then Sena. The party’s presence in Mumbai has more than doubled. The Congress-NCP only has control over one civic body each in the MMR – Bhiwandi-Nizampur corporation and the Navi Mumbai corporation. The MMR votes in nearly 57 legislators in the state Assembly and BJP’s position in cities now gives it advantage in 2019 Assembly polls.

4. Congress-NCP’s bastions taken over

In the recently held polls, the BJP managed to win the Opposition’s strongholds including Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nasik, Solapur marginalising their hold in big cities. The victory after demonetisation showed that Modi factor continues to have reasonance even three years after the BJP win in 2014. Political observers say the Opposition has failed to build counter narrative post 2014 and CM Devendra Fadnavis’ development agenda along with his clean image has proved to be a success

5. Stepping on the tiger’s tail and sidelining it

The Sena was seen as a party with large urban following, but recent elections show the BJP has grown at the cost of its ally and despite Sena’s consistent barbs. On ground, the BJP’s election machinery has defeated Sena repeatedly in cities. This also shows that Sena’s strategy of trying to occupy Opposition’s space even as it shares power in the state is not working on ground.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 12:24 IST