Mumbai: This unprecedented victory for BJP is on the agenda of transparency, says CM. People Of Maha supported BJP. This huge victory for BJP is on the agenda of transparency. There is a tie for the top spot, says CM. In election it happens that we lose and win: Devendra Fadnavis on Pankaja Munde’s resignation. Counting is still on but the BJP has excelled in zilla parishads, says the CM.
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, tweeted all Thursday, but not a word on the counting of votes in elections to Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC. His party, the BJP, had by early evening, closed a lead taken by the Shiv Sena to make it a nail-biting finish in the battle for Mumbai.
Mr Fadnavis has been at his home Varsha in Malabar Hill, getting minute by minute reports from the 23 counting centres. The BJP in the BMC election 2017 looks set to win 81 seats to the Shiv Sena’s 84, with none of them close to the 114 for majority. The BJP has also won eight out of ten major municipalities where elections were held this week, making it the day’s biggest gainer. Devendra Fadnavis has delivered again.
The party’s campaign for the crucial civic polls, billed as a mini-assembly election, was built completely around Mr Fadnavis, also featured in comic strips as a superhero. The Chief Minister led from the front saying that he would bear complete responsibility if the BJP fared badly in these elections but would credit the party for success.
“It’s a tight slap for those who said that the BJP will not get 40 seats in the BMC polls,” said the BJP’s Vinod Tawde, a minister in Mr Fadnavis’ government. The party’s best so far was the 31 seats it had won as the Sena’s partner last time. The Congress was number 2 that year, winning 52 seats. In this election it has been relegated to a faraway third.
The 46-year-old took on an angry Shiv Sena, which broke ties with the BJP just ahead of the civic elections, matching its chief Uddav Thackeray’s multiple attacks, bitter and often personal.
Another test lies ahead if Mr Thackeray acts on his threat of pulling out of the Maharashtra and Central governments that the BJP leads. Mr Fadnavis heads a team of 122 BJP legislators in the Maharashtra assembly, 22 short of a majority. The Shiv Sena’s 63 help him cross the halfway mark at 144.
Speculation that Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, with 41 legislators, is the BJP’s plan B peaked when the veteran Maharashtra politician was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian honour.
But right now it’s time to celebrate for the BJP. New corporators who have won are arriving at the party’s Mumbai office in Dadar East and are posing in front of posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The crowds have swelled since word got around that Mr Fadnavis will be here soon to address party workers.
There has been cheer at the party office since it became clear this morning that the BJP was set to do far better than ever before in the BMC elections, but once the gap with the Shiv Sena narrowed, the party office erupted in celebrations with confetti being strewn and sweets distributed.
Mr Fadnavis has been credited also with the BJP’s big gains in the first part of civic elections in the state held a few months ago, mostly at the cost of the Congress and NCP in their rural Maharashtra strongholds.
In its campaign for the BMC, Asia’s richest civic body with a budget of over 37,000 crores, the BJP targeted the Shiv Sena over the poor state of Mumbai’s roads and other amenities as also over allegations of corruption, promising “transparency” and “transformation” if it was given control of the municipality.