Shiv Sena emerges strong, BJP catching up

Mumbai: Vote counting for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and nine other municipal corporations along with 25 zilla parishads (district councils) in Maharashtra started at 10am on Thursday.

Of the 227 BMC seats, the Sena led in 94, still short of the 114 needed for a simple majority.

In the last election, MNS had won all the seven seats, however, this time Shiv Sena won six seats and one went to BJP. The fact that Congress has been going ahead in over 14 seats may be credited to the BJP-Shiv Sena fallout despite them having campaigned way less that the other parties. Pimpri-Chinchwad reported 67%, followed by Pune which saw 54%, Thane 58%, Solapur 60%, Nashik 60%, and Satara 70% respectively.

Mumbai recorded 55.53 per cent polling in the election held on Tuesday. In the first part held over four days ago, the BJP emerged as a major gainer, making significant inroads in the Congress and NCP's traditional strongholds.

As many as 43,160 polling booths have been set up. Nagpur, the home town of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis witnessed 53% turnout and Akola city in Vidarbha reported 56% turnout and Ulhasnagar 45%.

Bollywood stars including Anushka Sharma, John Abraham, Ranveer Singh, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, veteran actress Rekha and director Subhash Ghai also stepped out to cast their vote.

The result of BMC election 2017 will be out on 23 February.

It was the reverse of the scenario back in the mid-1990s when the Sena had come to power as the senior partner, backed by the BJP.

The big poll focus is on the BMC, retaining control of which is vital for the Sena as the city has remained its prime political space ever since the party's formation in 1966.

  • Leroy Wright