Shiv Sena takes early lead in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation as counting underway

Ulhasnagar, meanwhile, is gripped in a close contest between the BJP, the Shiv Sena and the NCP. Aaccording to trends available at 11: 45 am, the Sena which broke its allinace with the BJP and made a decision to contest the BMC election alonse, is leading on 72 seats. The two parties did not leave a chance to lash out at each other during the bitter campaign. The release of list of voters got delayed and there was also a change in polling booths. Mumbai recorded only 16.40% voter turnout till 11.30am, which almost doubled from 8.7% till 9.30 am, some of the city's upmarket parts in South Mumbai saw very indifferent voter response till 11.30am.

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.

While Shiv Sena is en route to emerging as the largest party in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane, its estranged saffron ally is leading in Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Amravati. If the BJP loses, Fadnavis will face criticism, it will prove that people are not satisfied with his performance. "It was Sena which first took the step of breaking the alliance with us, and they will have to now take the first step to decide the future course", BJP MLA Parag Alavani said. Though key BJP candidates have won in the city, Shiv Sena is leading over all. However, Shiv Sena's final tally in this round of polls is expected to exceed the previous figures of 75. Sena has directly controlled the BMC since 1997. Richest civic body with worst roads, hygiene, slums and illegal occupancy should go away.

After a grueling month-long campaign, all eyes are on the outcome of the fiercely-fought Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. A total of 21, 620 candidates contested for the 5,777 available seats including 227 seats for BMC. "With over 10% increase in civic poll voting, the verdict is now crystal clear", said Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, reiterating his earlier claim that his party would go on to win 114 seats in Mumbai, gaining absolute majority.

More than 1.80 crore electorate are eligible to exercise their franchise in the zilla parishads and panchayat samitis while 1.95 crore urban voters will in the ten municipal corporations. While Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were holding on to five and four constituencies respectively. Drinking water, roads and garbage are the key issues for the BMC polls this year.

  • Leroy Wright