Mumbai: Out of ten municipal corporations in Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance emerged clear winner in Mumbai and Thane, results of which were announced here Friday.
Though the alliance fell short of the magic figures in both the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), it is widely expected to retain power in both civic bodies with the help of rebels and Independents.
The need to beg for the support of Raj Thackeray`s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) may not immediately arise, though Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray recently expressed willingness to ally with his estranged nephew if the situation so warranted.
Incidentally, the MNS performed better than expected, especially in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, living up to its image of being a potential `king-maker`.
In Thane, the ruling Sena-BJP-RPI combine has pocketed 62 seats in the 130-member corporation, needing just four more for a majority. While the Sena garnered 53 seats and BJP 8, the RPI could not reap a good harvest and finished with just one.
With seven independents also emerging victorious, the saffron alliance should not find it difficult to secure a majority.
Though NCP today suffered a big blow in Pune as its candidate and also the city mayor Mohansingh Rajpal lost to his BJP rival.
But despite the Congress and NCP contesting separately, the two together secured 79 seats in the 152-member corporation, two more than required for majority.
While NCP led the tally with 51 seats, Congress got 28. The BJP secured 26 seats and Shiv Sena 15. The MNS secured 29 seats.
Ganesh Bidkar (BJP), who was chairman of the standing committee in the outgoing house, defeated Rajpal by 1,264 votes.
In the last poll when Pune had a 144-member municipal body, NCP was the largest party with 48 seats, followed by Congress (42), BJP (24), Shiv Sena (21) and MNS just seven.
The biggest triumph for the saffron alliance came in the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which it has controlled since 1996, where it frustrated state`s ruling Congress-NCP combine`s efforts to wrest power.
The victory in the 227-member BMC, whose budget of 21,000 crore far exceeds that of many states, came despite Congress forging an alliance with NCP for the first time for the civic body election, in order to avoid a split in secular votes. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had assiduously pursued an alliance with his party`s fractious ally which at one stage threatened to walk out of alliance talks.
Though the magic figure of 114 eluded the saffron alliance--Shiv Sena 75 and BJP 32 -- in the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, by just seven seats, it would hardly find it difficult to secure a majority with the help of independents and smaller parties which have secured 28 seats.
While the Congress secured 50 seats, NCP finished with just 14. Raj Thackeray`s MNS did remarkably well with 28 seats, up 21 seats it got in 2007.
Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan called the result as "surprising" and conceded defeat. "The result is surprising...unexpected. We tried to consolidate secular votes but could not meet with desired outcome," Chavan told reporters.
In 2007 polls, Shiv Sena had won 84 seats and BJP 28, but obtained a majority with the help of four independents, taking their tally to 116.
Fighting separately, Congress had won 75 seats and NCP 14. Raj Thackeray`s Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) won 7 seats and Samajwadi Party 7
The 122-member Nashik corporation is all set to have a hung House with no party or combine near the 62 seats required for a majority. While the MNS has pocketed the largest number of 40 seats, The Congress-NCP combine has got 36 and Sena-BJP-RPI alliance 35.
It will be interesting to see if MNS supports any of the two major blocs in securing a majority or insists on having their backing for a majority of its own. The role of
Independents and others who have bagged 11 seats will be crucial.
BJP candidate Dr Rahul Aher was declared elected. He defeated nearest rival, NCP`s Gokul Pingle by a margin of 100 votes.
Sitting BJP corporator Seema Mahesh Hiray was also declared elected.
In 2007, when Nashik had a 108-member corporation, Shiv Sena had led the tally with 26 seats and ally BJP 14. The alliance had secured a majority with the help of independents and others who had 18 seats. Congress had 22, NCP 16 and MNS
12 in the outgoing House.
Sharad Pawar’s NCP today got a clear majority here by clinching as many as 84 seats whereas its alliance partner Congress won in 15. Shiv Sena won 13, BJP won in 3 seats while MNS tasted success in 4 seats.
Shiv Sena-BJP together bagged 26 seats and Independents and others 9 seats, in the 128-strong house.
In a major setback for ruling BJP, its outgoing Mayor Archana Dehankar and Deputy Mayor Shekhar Sawarbandhe of Shiv Sena have lost to Congress nominees in their respective seats, as counting of votes for Nagpur Municipal Corporation is still underway.
Congress candidates Harshada Sabde and Prashant Dhawad defeated Dehankar and Sawarbandhe respectively.
In Nagpur, the Sena-BJP combine has emerged as the largest bloc with 68 seats but still five short of a simple majority. The Congress has won 41 seats and NCP 6, well behind the saffron alliance.
Nagpur, the RSS headquarters, had a 135-member corporation in 2007 with BJP the largest party with 55 seats and Shiv Sena 8. While Congress had 33 seats, NCP had 8. BSP had 4 seats, RJD 3, MNS 2, RPI 2 and independents and others
The 78-member Ulhasnagar Corporation too had a hung municipal body with Shiv Sena bagging 19 seats and BJP 11, while ally Ramdas Athavale`s RPI got 4.
Put together, they still fall six short of a simple majority in the corporation they ruled. The NCP pocketed 21 seats and Congress 8, putting up a close contest.
Here, the role of Socialist Action Group of India, which once backed the saffron alliance and has secured 8 seats will be of crucial importance. Four independents and two others have also won and will decide who rules the corporation.
In Amravati, the Congress-NCP coalition won a comfortable 42, the SS-BJP combine bagged 18, and Independents and others secured 27 seats in the 87-strong house.
No party has won a clear majority in the Akola Municipal Corporation, as the results of yesterday`s election came in late this afternoon. Congress and BJP, with 18 seats each, are the biggest parties in 73-member house.
Party-wise final results are as follows: Congress (18), NCP (5), BJP (18), Shiv Sena (8), BRP-BMS Samyukta Vikas Aghadi (7), UDF (2), Akola Vikas Aghadi (2), Samajawadi Party (1), MNS (1), independents (11).
Suresh Patil of Congress, who was the Mayor of Akola Corporation before it was dissolved because of financial irregularities, had to taste defeat.
Other prominent leaders who lost included Dr Azhar Hussain (Congress), Dr Kishor Malokar (BJP), Mahadeorao Bundele (PWP), etc.
City Congress chief and former Mayor Madan Bhargad won by a margin of only six votes. The Mayor`s post this time is reserved for a scheduled caste woman.
There were five couples in the fray, three of which got elected: Sunil Meshram and his wife Madhuri (independents), Sanjay Badone and his wife (independents) Vijay Agrawal and his wife Sunanda (Akola Vikas Aghadi).
Congress today emerged as the biggest party in 102-member Solapur Municipal Corporation in south Maharashtra, and looked set to retain the power by
striking alliance with NCP.
While Congress bagged 44 seats, NCP won 16. Solapur is the hometown of Congress leader and Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Shiv Sena got 8 seats, BJP 26 and RPI only 1. BSP and CPM won 3 seats each. An independent candidate won from one ward.
Mayor Arif Sheikh (Congress) won his seat, defeating
nearest rival, advocate Rajak Sheikh (BJP).
A total of 3.5 crore voters were registered to elect 1,244 councillors, including 624 women, in Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur municipal corporations.
According to officials of the state election commission, Solapur, Nashik and Amravati municipal corporations recorded the highest voter turnout at 58 per cent.
Akola was a close second at 57 per cent.
Thane registered a voter turnout of 52 per cent while Ulhasnagar municipal corporation in Thane district registered a voter turnout of a mere 43 per cent.
Pune registered a turnout of 53 per cent while the adjoining Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation registered a turnout of 56 per cent. Nagpur registered a turnout of 55 per cent.
With PTI inputs