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Se-BJP tussle in Mumbai, BJP gains elsewhere

Mumbai, Feb 23: The Shiv Se finished on top of a hung BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday but the BJP said it could take control of India’s richest civic body with the backing of at least four independents. Shiv Se activists celebrated earlier in the day as it appeared it was set to take control of the BMC but it finished with just 84 of the 227 seats. The BJP came close with 81 seats.

Any party or combine will need 114 corporators for a simple majority in the BMC house. Across Maharashtra, however, the Bharatiya Jata Party made major gains in elections held for municipal bodies. The Shiv Se victory came in Thane.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadvis thanked the electorate, saying they have “reposed complete in Prime Minister rendra Modi’s policies of development for all”.

Asked about a tussle for the post of Mayor, he said: “The core committee of the two parties will meet and take a decision. We shall respect the verdict of the people.”

BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar said the party had bagged 81 seats in Mumbai and had the support of four independents and that it was in a position to claim the crucial post of Mayor.

Adopting a shrill anti-BJP stance, an aggressive Shiv Se had spped ties with the BJP ahead of the municipal elections and its leader Uddhav Thackeray had expected the Se to win at least 100 seats, if not an outright majority. The BMC, the country’s largest municipal body, had an annual budget of Rs 37,000 crore in 2016-17.

The Congress trailed at a distant third in Mumbai, forcing its city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam to accept moral responsibility. He told IANS that he has submitted his resigtion to the party high command this afternoon.

The Maharashtra vnirman Se (MNS) of Raj Thackeray, Uddhav’s estranged cousin, finished with seven seats in BMC.

The tiolist Congress Party (NCP) bagged nine seats, the Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen three, and incarcerated mafia don Arun Gawli’s party Akhil Bharatiya Se (ABS) bagged one seat, his daughter Geeta Gawli being the sole winner.

The BJP also gained hugely in nine other major civic bodies of Maharashtra. It raced towards victory in the Pune Municipal Corporation with 77 seats, while the NCP got 44, Shiv Se 10, Congress 16 and MNS six in the state’s cultural and IT capital.

The contest was close in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation near Pune. The BJP surged with 58 seats, with the ruling NCP getting 29 seats in the 128-member house.

The Shiv Se was on way to retaining control over the 131-seat Thane Municipal Corporation getting 60 seats, the NCP bagging 31 and the BJP wining 21.

In Ulhasgar, the BJP grabbed 32 seats and Shiv Se 25 of the total 78 seats. The NCP got four, Congress got one and independents and others grabbed 16. gpur went the BJP way with the party bagging 91 of the civic body’s 151 seats. The Congress got 23, and the NCP bagged one seat.

In shik, the BJP appeared on way to controlling the civic body, winning 55 seats out of 112 seats. The Shiv Se got 35 seats, while the ruling Maharashtra vnirman Se was relegated to just three. The Congress and NCP fared better than MNS with six and five seats respectively.

The BJP was faring well in Amravati with wins in 44 seats out of 87 seats followed by the Congress with 12 seats and Shiv Se with seven.

In Solapur Municipal Corporation, a Congress bastion, the BJP appeared in a commanding position with leads in 25 out of 102 seats, followed by Shiv Se in 10 and Congress in six. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita