India’s richest civic body heads to polls

Political observers predict a hung house in the BMC elections following a split between the Shiv Sena and the BJP.

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | January 30, 2017 | Mumbai


#richest civic body   #split   #Congress   #MNS   #BJP   #Shiv Sena   #Mumbai   #BMC elections  


Elections to the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is the country’s richest civic body, will be held in February and political observers are expecting a split verdict. The reason: A split between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Campaigning is going on in right earnest in 15 zilla parishads and 165 panchayat samitis for which voting will take place February 16 while  elections to the remaining 11 zilla parishads, 118 panchayat samitis and 10 municipal corporations in  Maharashtra  will be held on February 21.
 
Disagreements over seat sharing in the BMC had triggered the split between the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena and BJP.  BJP wanted 114 out of the total 227 but the Sena only willing to concede 60.  Currently BJP has 33 corporators, Shiv Sena has 75, Congress and the NCP have 52 and 13 each, Samajwadi Party has 9 seats and Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has 28 members in the BMC.
 
Without an alliance between Congress and NCP, the civic body is headed towards a multi cornered  fight. Asaddudin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Samajwadi Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena  are fielding candidates. For the first time in the past more than two decades, all major political parties are contesting the elections for the country’s richest civic body.
 
“This is just the beginning. Zilla Parishad and civic elections are our main focus,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut  told Governance Now. Refuting any chances of NCP or Congress benefitting out of the alliance breaking off, Raut stressed only Shiv Sena will benefit.
Governance Now spoke to some political observers on the wider impact of the Shiv Sena-BJP split.
 
Kumar Ketkar, a political commentator, said, “The real analysis can only be done after UP elections. Mumbai civic elections results will be out on Feb 23 while UP state results will come on March 11. Till then they will keep on campaigning against each other. Shiv Sena will campaign very hard against BJP and BJP will do the same against Shiv Sena. But don’t think anyone will get majority.” 
Ketkar added that BJP’s popularity has come down in the last six  months. 
 
“Possibly, SS (Shiv Sena) can get slightly more seats than the BJ. It can take a daring step of withdrawing from the government, which is not very likely to happen.”
 
Commenting on a possible threat to the Shiv Sena from Congress and NCP, Ketkar said that  NCP has no roots in Mumbai and has no chance of winning in Mumbai and Congress too won’t gain. ”The essential beneficiary of anti-BJP vote will be SS.”
 
Political analyst Prakash Bal Joshi said, “Both the SS and BJP are repeating  the experiment of Kalyan  Dombivali Municipal Corporation elections where there were many allegations against each other. But when the results came out it was a hung house and they eventually joined hands. In any corporation election due to less number of voters, (victory) margins too are less. Ideologically different political opponents like Congress and NCP get less number of seats and rebel candidates have to be tackled separately. There is also space for accommodating more parties.”
 
On reports of MNS desirous of a tactical alliance with Shiv Sena, he said, “Right from the start, MNS has been adopting anti-Congress policies. Even if it joins hands with Sena, their main fight will be with Congress and NCP.”
 
However, Surendra Jondhale, professor and head of department, civic and politics, University of Mumbai, said, “SS and MNS will not ally. Why will SS strengthen and provide political space to MNS, when it has been talking against Uddhav Thackeray.”
 
On Shiv Sena attracting Marathi votes, Joshi said the percentage of Marathi votes has substantially reduced in the last 10 years. With the SS adopting a more aggressive  ‘hindutva’ ideology,  they are attracting votes which might have gone to some other fragmented parties. In BJP, some people may not be on the same page with their ideas. Following only Marathi  base,  they cannot win votes on their own so they are expanding their base. They have inducted many Gujarati leaders in the last 15 days  and getting people from Congress and NCP also.
 
Jondhale added, ”SS does not have monopoly over Marathi voters who have been voting for all parties, otherwise  how would have BJP and Congress  won in last elections. Marathis will also vote for BJP.  The anti-incumbency factor will not work in favour of Shiv Sena and BJP is banking on that in BMC elections.”
 

Comments

 

Other News

Politicians trade charges as Covid breaks previous records in Maharashtra

A political war erupted between the centre and Maharashtra over supply of essentials including medicines and oxygen as the state struggles to control the raging Covid-19 amidst scarce health infrastructure. Maharashtra has seen a consistent rise in Covid infections and recorded 67,123 new c

Remdesivir procured at high prices to save lives: BMC

Countering the opposition BJP’s allegations of corruption in the procurement of Remdesivir, a critical anti-viral injection often prescribed for Covid-19 patients, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has clarified that its decision to procure the drug was aimed at saving  lives even if

“Not appropriate to postpone Class XII CBSE exams”

Criticizing the postponement of the CBSE Class XII exams in the wake of the second Covid -19 wave across the country, Nupur Sharma, BJP national spokesperson, has said the decision will jeopardize the future of students. Despite the pandemic she said no college or university will be ready to give them prov

Govt announces strategic collaboration to empower Atal Tinkering Lab schools

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell has announced their strategic collaboration which aims to empower Atal Tinkering Lab school (ATLs) students for world-class future-ready

Agriculture Min signs MoU with Microsoft to develop smart interface for farmers

Union Ministry of Agriculture and Microsoft India has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a pilot project in 100 villages of six states to develop farmer interface for smart and well-organized agriculture, including post-harvest management and distribution. The pilot

NIXI inaugurates new initiatives to improve IPV6 adoption

Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) & Chairman NIXI has inaugurated three initiatives of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). With this launch, NIXI has announced to play a supporting role for the IPv6 aw

Visionary talk series with Nupur Sharma, National Spokesperson, BJP



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter