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BMC elections: Shiv Sena and BJP in a head on competition

 2017-02-23 14:15:27.0

BMC elections: Shiv Sena and BJP in a head on competition

MUMBAI: In a thrilling battle in Maharashtra for the country's most richest civic body elections, the Brihanmumbai Muncipal Corporation (BMC) the result is likely to impact the relations between friends-turned-foes Shiv Sena and the Bhartiya Janta party (BJP).

The civic body has so far declared results for 225 of the 227 electoral wards of Mumbai. Of these, the Shiv Sena has a tally of 84 seats, followed closely by the BJP with 80 seats. Counting for two electoral wards is still underway. These are Kalbadevi in South Mumbai where BJP's Atul Shah is in close contest with the Sena's Surendra Bagalkar, and Kandivali in the city's north where BJP's Surekha Patil is leading with Sena's Anupama Ambekar in the second position.

In other parties, the Congress has won 31 seats, a far cry from thye 52 seats that teh party won in 2012. The Nationalist Congress Praty (NCP) has won in nine wards, teh Samajwadi Party in six, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in seven, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) in three. Besides, four seats have gone to indipendent candidates, while the Akhil Bhartiya Sena has clinched one.

Following the Congress' disappointing performance, city Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam offerd to resign from his position taking blame for the ill-fated performance of the party.The party has also maintained that it will neither support teh Shive Sena nor the BJP for either party to win power in BMC. Congress' grip on Mumbai ha been constantly loosing since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with the party grapplingn with and factionalism and division within th party.

The Shiv Sena have posted victory of it bastions managing to recal its citidal of Dadar and Mahim, which it had to cede the Raj Thakeray- led MNS in the East, Sanctacruz, Khar and so on. Senior Sena leaders such as Mangesh Satamkar, sitting Mayor Snehal Ambekar, and former Mayors Milind Vaidya, Vishakha Raut, and Shraddha Jadhav all emerged successful. However, several of the party's strong candidates had to also face defeat. These include Standing Committee Chairman Yashodhar Phanse, Devendra Ambedkar who jumped from Congress to Sena just before elections. Both candidates lost to the BJP.

In a reverse of fortune to Sena member of Parliament (MP) Rahul Shewale, his wife Kamini Shewale lost the BJP's Anita Panchal. Panchal and her husband Dinesh Panchal were former Sena members who defected to the BJP before elections after their parent party to feild Rahul Shewale's wife insted of Anita Panchal.

Whereas teh BJP made an entry in shiv sena's baston, the Marathi heartland of Dadar, with the elections of Sheetal Gambhir, daughter of former Sena legislator Surash Gambhir. The party also registered a victory in Andheri west, Colaba, Cuffle Parade,Borivali,Goregaon,Sion Koliwasa and so on.

BJPs Makrand Navrekar and his sister-in-law Harshita Navekar won from Colaba and Cuffe Parade, respectively. Party MP Kriti Somaiya's son, Neil Somaiya, also emerged successful from Mulund prompting his father to call it a victory of "transparency", a stick that Somaiya was constantly beating the Sena with.

Since 1997, this is the first election to see the Shiv Sena and the BJP contesting independently making it a prestige issue for both the parties. The regional party is trying to hold its positions in its land fighting for Mumbai while BJP - fresh from its victory in the 2014 asssembly polls is seeking to make deeper encroachments into the country's financial capital.

Besides the BMC, the BJP is also doing well in at last seven of nine muncipal corporations where counting ha been underway since morning.


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