Sangli’s guardian minister and cabinet minister Subhash Deshmukh feeds sweet to Sangli BJP’s MLA Sudheer Gadgil in the presence of BJP leader Neeta Kelkar and BJP district president Prithviraj Desmukh.(UDAY DEOLEKAR/HT PHOTO)
Sangli’s guardian minister and cabinet minister Subhash Deshmukh feeds sweet to Sangli BJP’s MLA Sudheer Gadgil in the presence of BJP leader Neeta Kelkar and BJP district president Prithviraj Desmukh.(UDAY DEOLEKAR/HT PHOTO)

Stirred, not shaken: BJP in urban Maharashtra

Maratha stir, agrarian crisis have little impact on party’s show; cause for worry for Cong, NCP, Sena
By Ketaki Ghoge | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON AUG 04, 2018 02:09 PM IST

With the win in Jalgaon and Maratha stronghold Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad civic bodies, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued its electoral victory juggernaut in the state, emerging the face of the urban mandate in Maharashtra, despite the ongoing agitation for reservation that put the BJP-led government on the back foot.

The BJP now has control over 14 of the 27 big cities in the state and has captured most of the state’s urban political space.

The results of the two civic bodies declared on Friday indicate the BJP continues to find acceptability among voters in the face of several agrarian protests and caste agitations that have beset the Fadnavis government this year.

The results are a cause for worry for not just the Opposition, Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), but also the Shiv Sena.

The win in Sangli in western Maharashtra, a traditional bastion of the Congress-NCP, comes even as both the parties struck an alliance for the civic polls to counter the BJP.

The alliance was led by Congress’ legislator and education baron Vishwajeet Kadam, son of former senior Congress leader Patangrao Kadam, and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state president Jayant Patil. The BJP win here comes as a surprise, especially in the backdrop of the Maratha protests, given the community has a strong presence in Sangli and Miraj. And, it has led to speculation that the aggressive protests could have led to caste polarisation – with Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Jains and Brahmins – voting in favour of the BJP.

“The caste polarisation owing to Maratha protests is also one of the reasons behind our loss,” said a senior Congress leader, who did not want to be named.

Not all political observers agree with this analysis.

“This new wave of Maratha protests was too fragmented to lead to negative voting. I don’t think Marathas voted en bloc against the BJP. Other castes may have voted in favour of BJP, but we can’t look at this victory through the caste prism. It is also to be seen in the light of anti-incumbency against the Congress that had ruled the civic body for years and perhaps not delivered as much,” said political analyst Surendra Jondhale.

Both the Congress and NCP blamed BJP’s money power as one of the main reasons for their electoral defeat. The BJP denied this.

“The voters’ list was manipulated in a big way and money power was used by the BJP to wrest Sangli,” alleged NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik.

“We systematically worked to win Sangli and focused solely on the development plank. It helped that the Congress has controlled the civic body for decades, but had done little to improve the civic infrastructure for citizens. The image of our CM worked for the party,” said Neeta Kelkar, BJP’s vice-president and local leader.

The main takeway is that with Sangli, BJP controls four of the five civic bodies in the sugar belt of western Maharashtra, so far controlled by co-operative doyens from the Congress and NCP. Both the Congress and NCP were counting on winning back the lost space in western Maharashtra in 2019, especially in the light of agrarian crisis and the Maratha protests.

These parties will now have to head to the strategy room to re-think these political calculations.

The Jalgaon win has a lesson for the Shiv Sena given the party’s tally fell to 13 in 2018 from 33 in 2013.

“There was no need to give the anchor to Suresh Jain, who is in the twilight of his political career. And, the party should realise that not having an alliance with the BJP will come at a cost in the 2019 polls,” said a BJP leader.

The win in this north Maharashtra city is also a plus for water resources minister Girish Mahajan, who has been caught in a bitter leadership tussle with senior BJP leader and former revenue minister Eknath Khadse over this

region.

With Mahajan, Fadnavis’ aide winning the Jalgaon civic body, so far seen as Khadse’s home turf, the latter now faces a political challenge.

Khadse has been upset with Fadnavis after his ouster from the state cabinet over charges of graft in a land deal in 2016.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
High security outside Antilia at Altamont road after a car laden with gelatin sticks has been found abandoned near billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Antilia residence in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)
High security outside Antilia at Altamont road after a car laden with gelatin sticks has been found abandoned near billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Antilia residence in Mumbai. (ANI Photo)

Just a trailer, says letter found in car near Mukesh Ambani's residence

By Vijay Kumar Yadav, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:35 AM IST
Mumbai Police officials said that the note was found in a bag bearing logo of “Mumbai Indians”, the Indian Premier League cricket team owned by the Ambanis.
Close
Polluted drain water on Dombivli MIDC road . (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Polluted drain water on Dombivli MIDC road . (Rishikesh Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

‘1 year after Dombivli MIDC road turned pink, no drop in pollution’

By Sajana Nambiar, Dombivli
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:33 AM IST
A year after a road in Dombivli Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) turned pink, there is still no change in the pollution situation in this area, reveals a study by NGO Vanshakti
Close
Cidco PRO says work of levelling the plot near the lake is in progress. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)
Cidco PRO says work of levelling the plot near the lake is in progress. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)

Navi Mumbai residents complain of illegal dumping of debris at Lotus Lake

By Raina Shine, Navi Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:28 AM IST
The residents of Sector 27, Nerul, complained of landfilling and illegal dumping of debris in Lotus Lake destroying its beauty
Close
RT-PCR testing at a Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation hospital. (Bachchan Kumar/ /HT photo)
RT-PCR testing at a Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation hospital. (Bachchan Kumar/ /HT photo)

No financial irregularities in Covid testing: Navi Mumbai civic body panel report

By Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:25 AM IST
A three-member inquiry committee set up to probe into the false-negative reports of Covid-19 tests, prepared by some testing centres under the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), has submitted its report to the municipal commissioner
Close
Fishermen conduct Channel Bandh at JNPT on Friday. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)
Fishermen conduct Channel Bandh at JNPT on Friday. (Bachchan Kumar/HT photo)

Navi Mumbai: Channel Bandh agitation called off after 7 hours

By Raina Shine, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:20 AM IST
The JNPT project-affected fishing community, on Friday, conducted a Channel Bandh agitation, blocking ship movement at the country’s largest container port for seven hours
Close
 (BHUSHAM KOYANDE)
(BHUSHAM KOYANDE)

Maharashtra sees 8,333 new Covid cases; city records 1,035 new infections

By Surendra P Gangan, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:20 AM IST
Even as Maharashtra and Mumbai witnessed a slight drop in cases on Friday, compared to the past two days, the state is urging citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to prevent another lockdown, which could hurt the state economy badly
Close
A roadside eatery outside Thane railway station on Friday. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)
A roadside eatery outside Thane railway station on Friday. (Praful Gangurde/HT photo)

Thane: Restaurants, eateries upset over losses due to strict Covid protocols

By Ankita G Menon, Thane
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:15 AM IST
Following the recent action by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), hotel and other eatery owners are upset as they are incurring losses due to the permitted 50 per cent seating capacity and similar Covid protocols
Close
Sanjay Rathod (centre) staged a show of strength at Washim, where thousands of his supporters gathered, violating Covid norms. (HT FILE)
Sanjay Rathod (centre) staged a show of strength at Washim, where thousands of his supporters gathered, violating Covid norms. (HT FILE)

Sanjay Rathod’s future uncertain; BJP may disrupt Maharashtra session

By Naresh Kamath, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:12 AM IST
The BJP wants Sena minister Sanjay Rathod to be dropped from state Cabinet; CM Uddhav Thackeray irked over link to woman’s death by suicide, show of strength, say sources.
Close
NCP workers protest against ED probe against NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam case. (HT FILE)
NCP workers protest against ED probe against NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam case. (HT FILE)

Transfer MSC Bank scam case to CBI: Petition in Bombay HC

By KAY Dodhiya, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:09 AM IST
A petition has been filed in the Bombay high court (HC) seeking transfer of the investigation into the alleged Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Bank scam from Maharashtra Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Close
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)
For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)

Four, including a minor, nabbed for killing transgender in Mumbai

By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:01 AM IST
Bangur Nagar police on Friday apprehended three men and a minor boy for allegedly killing a transgender person in Malad two days ago. According to police, after four unsuccessful attempts, the four accused killed their neighbour Suresh Pujari alias Surya.
Close
A health worker screens inbound travellers at CSMT. (Bhushan Koyande / HT Photo)
A health worker screens inbound travellers at CSMT. (Bhushan Koyande / HT Photo)

Mumbai: Dharavi sees 16 cases, highest in past four months

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:00 AM IST
Asia’s one of the largest slum cluster — Dharavi that was a Covid-19 hotspot in the initial days of the outbreak in Mumbai, has reported 16 cases on Friday, the highest in four months
Close
Experts and state officials are of the opinion that suburban train travel is one of the reasons behind the spike in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and neighbouring areas, in the past few days. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Experts and state officials are of the opinion that suburban train travel is one of the reasons behind the spike in Covid-19 cases in Mumbai and neighbouring areas, in the past few days. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Maharashtra govt may restrict train travel for general public again in Mumbai

By Surendra P Gangan and Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:57 PM IST
Maharashtra government is considering imposing restrictions again on the local train commuting on suburban trains in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) amid the upsurge in the cases in the region over the last two weeks
Close
Representational image.
Representational image.

Mumbai civic body starts admissions for 10 new CBSE schools

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:53 PM IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started pre-primary to Class 6 admissions for its 10 newly opened CBSE schools across the city from Thursday
Close
Terminal 1 at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. (HT Photo)
Terminal 1 at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. (HT Photo)

Mumbai: 4 airlines to start flight operations from T1 from March 10

By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:50 PM IST
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) will re-open its operations from Terminal 1 (T1) for domestic flights from March 10
Close
 (HIndustan Times)
(HIndustan Times)

February sees highest number of travellers in three months: Report

By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:48 PM IST
In the third week of February, India has witnessed 24,700 check-ins, reveals a report by RateGain, a leading provider of software as a services (SaaS) product that helps travel and hospitality companies with revenue and brand engagement
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP