Maharashtra polls: Like Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, no clear winners in nine civic bodies, say experts
Nine other municipal corporations are going to polls, along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, this Tuesday. And just like in the BMC, no party seems to have a clear majority in the other municipalities.mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2017 10:38 IST
Nine other municipal corporations are going to polls, along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, this Tuesday. And just like in the BMC, no party seems to have a clear majority in the other municipalities.
This may lead to post polls alliances between traditional partners, and also may throw up surprising tie-ups in some cases for control over the civic bodies.
Of Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Solapur, Amravati, Akola and Nagpur, four corporations are either with the Shiv Sena or the BJP, while Congress has a mayor in Solapur and Amravati. Pune and Pimri-Chinchwad are under the bastion of the Nationalist Congress Party, while Nashik is with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Though the equations have completely changed in most of these corporations, especially after the 2014-Assembly elections, the split of the two major combines has made the fight more interesting, beyond anybody’s guess.
In Thane, though the Shiv Sena has reportedly strengthened its position, experts and even party insiders are not confident if it will touch the half way mark of 65 seats. The party has 53 corporators and the support of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and two Republican party factions. The second largest party, NCP, finds itself in a sway with all the infighting, but may however, prove beneficial to the saffron partners, resulting in the improvement of their numbers.
Ulhasnagar, where the mayor is from the Shiv Sena, has the support of the BJP and RPI (A), so this may improve in the BJP tally. Omie Kalani, son of gangster Pappu Kalani, has joined hand with the party. His 34 supporters, including sitting corporators, have been fielded under the BJP’s symbol. Though his criminal background invited slurs that the BJP was joining hands with people with criminal backgrounds, the party may be in a position to claim the post of the mayor from the Shiv Sena.
“The infighting among key leaders Vasant Davkhare, Ganesh Naik and Jitendra Awhad has weakened the party in Thane. This is going to hit the party prospects in both the municipal corporations. Though Congress and NCP have joined hands in Thane, it is unlikely to play in their favour as AIMIM too may play a major role. On the other hand, Shiv Sena’s performance will be better than in the last election,” said a Congress leader from Thane.
The BJP has successfully poached upon key NCP leaders with a mass base and muscle power in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad and is looking to wrest power from the latter. It has led to criticism from voters in the cities known for its education and IT hub. Though the party is claiming to have improved its chances in Pune after winning all eight Assembly seats in 2014, it may find it difficult to snatch power away from the NCP, which has 51 members in the 152-seat body. NCP has a clear majority with 83 members in the 128-seat body in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s poor performance in Nashik has disillusioned voters, who may choose Shiv Sena and BJP over the ruling party. The last minute goof-up in distributing the AB forms to 10 candidates is likely to affect the Sena’s prospects. It has led to the possibility of the candidates shifting loyalties in favour of the party forming the body.
The three civic bodies in Vidarbha – Amravati, Akola and Nagpur — may favour BJP, which has the highest number of MLAs in these places. The party has mayors in Nagpur and Akola, while Amravati is controlled by the Congress. “BJP has pumped in a lot of funds for development in these three cities. Amravati was known for its bad roads, but widening and reconstruction work is in full swing and it may play in the BJP’s favour. Infighting among the factions led by Ranjit Patil and Sanjay Dhotre, may hamper the party’s prospective in Akola, but it has a fair chance of forming the body,”a BJP leader from Vidarbha said.
Political analyst Vishwambhar Chaudhary said, “The BJP will have the upper hand in the elections as it has inducted the local faces on the basis of their electoral utility, irrespective of their background and ideology. Some of them have criminal backgrounds and it will help them in winning most of the civic bodies. ”