Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that his party will withdraw from the central and state governments led by the BJP after the civic polls. “I foresee mid-term elections.
Now the Shiv Sena is celebrating as it leads in 82 seats in elections to Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC. At number 2, the BJP is ahead in 47 seats now, far crossing its previous best of 31.
The Congress, NCP and Raj Thackeray’s party MNS have, not unexpectedly, been crushed. Votes are also being counted in nine other major municipalities in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena has controlled the BMC for the last 20 years, contesting along with ally BJP. This time they contested separately after the Sena called off the partnership ahead of the elections.
The BJP is also doing well in other municipalities in the state. It has wrested Pune from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party and is ahead in Solapur, Amravati, Nashik and Nagpur. The Shiv Sena is ahead in Mumbai suburb Thane.
As leads rolled in, the Shiv Sena’s Anil Desai said there was “no chance” of his party taking support of the BJP if it is short of majority at 114 of the BMC’s 227 seats. The BJP’s Madhav Bhandari said, it was too early to predict the result.
Apart from control over megacity Mumbai, today’s results will also decide a big prestige battle between the Shiv Sena’s Udhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who has said that he will take onus for a BJP loss but will credit the party for a victory.
BMC has 227 seats. To win outright a party needs 114. Both the Sena and BJP have assessed internally that they could fall short of a majority.In the last BMC election in 2012, the Shiv Sena had won 75 seats, the BJP, contesting as its ally, had won 31, the Congress had 52 and the NCP 13.