Shiv Sena on Thursday won 84 of 227 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wards as the final results showed that no single party had won an absolute majority. The BJP surprised everyone by winning 81 seats despite going alone in this election.
Congress won 31 seats while the NCP could only win 9 wards.
This is the first time since 1997 that both the BJP and Shiv Sena were contesting elections independently. It is yet not clear who Sena will form an alliance with.
The Congress has clearly been decimated this election, having won just 31 seats, which is a lot fewer than the 52 seats the party won in 2012. City Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam offered to resign from his position, taking blame for the lackluster performance of the party.
Congress’ hold on Mumbai has been consistently loosening since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls with the party grappling with and factionalism and infighting.
The Sena posted victory in several of its bastions. For starters, the party managed to reclaim its citadel of Dadar and Mahim, which it had to cede to the Raj Thackeray-led MNS in the 2012 civic polls.
The party also won seats in Bhandup, Dahisar, Parel, Lalbaug, Bandra East, Santacruz, 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 posted a victory. 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 setback to Sena Member of Parliament (MP) Rahul Shewale, his wife Kamini Shewale lost to 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 decided to field Rahul Shewale’s wife instead of Anita Panchal.
The BJP, on the other hand, made an entry in Shiv Sena’s bastion, the Marathi heartland of Dadar, with the election of Sheetal Gambhir, daughter of former Sena legislator Suresh Gambhir. The party also registered a victory in Andheri West, Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Goregaon, Borivali, Sion Koliwada and so on.
Pankaja Munde has taken responsibility after BJP lost 8 out of 10 seats in Parli by offering to resign.
With BJP registering spectacular showing, the social media abuzz with numerous jokes aimed at Uddhav Thackeray while users appeared unanimous in their praise for the Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis.
Here are some reactions;
When asked abt #BMCresults
BJP: We tripled our count, we r happy
Shiv Sena: We r still a major force!
Congress: Australia all out hui kya ?
— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) February 23, 2017
— भाईसाहब (@Bhai_saheb) February 23, 2017
Mumbaikars have basically told BJP and Shiva Sena to stay married. #BMCresults
— Ram (@ramprasad_c) February 23, 2017
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 23, 2017
— Pravin Magar (@pravindo) February 23, 2017
Congress is the kingmaker in #BMCresults as it has the required numbers to help someone get the majority. Clearly a victory of @OfficeOfRG
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) February 23, 2017
Stellar performance by BJP. A big LOL for those who said demonetisation will affect BJP. Fadnavis will be a happy man today. #BMCresults
— Hoshang Pathak (@hoshangpathak) February 23, 2017
— GappuRaja (@GappuRaja1) February 23, 2017
— Shonali Sinha Naik (@ShonaliNaik) February 23, 2017
— कोमल 🙂 ?? (@Komal_Indian) February 23, 2017