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
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
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
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.