Campaign for Maharashtra municipal elections ends
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 21:27
Mumbai: Campaign for the February 16 municipal corporation elections in Mumbai and nine other civic bodies ended on Tuesday.

In Mumbai, a triangular contest is on cards between the Congress-NCP combine, Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS.

Elections are also being held in Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur municipal corporations. The 10 civic bodies have an electorate of 3.5 crore and will elect 1,244 candidates, including 624 women.

Senior leaders like NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Sena chief Bal Thackeray and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan addressed a flurry of poll meetings to campaign for their respective parties for the February 16 elections, seen as mini Assembly polls.

In the 227-seat Mumbai corporation, the election is a fiercely fought affair. It is a challenge for the Congress-NCP combine which aims to dethrone the Sena-BJP combine, at the helm of civic affairs for the last 16 years.

The polls will also prove credentials of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which threatens to endanger the Sena stronghold. Political analysts are describing the elections as a battle of survival for the Shiv Sena as the politically significant Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been in its hold since 1996.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, an old friend of Thackeray, was quoted in a section of media as saying that the saffron party is on the decline and 86-year old Thackeray's son Uddhav, now Sena executive president, is a 'failure'.

The campaign was a no-holds-barred one where personality clashes came to the fore. There was war of words between Raj and Uddhav and also between senior ministers Narayan Rane and Ajit Pawar. Raj was involved in a verbal duel with senior minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

An aggressive Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan led the Congress attack on the opposition.


First Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 21:27

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