The Shiv Sena which has contested the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) election separately will emerge as the single largest party according to political analysts. Sena had aggressively campaigned for the KDMC polls. It had parted ways with the BJP before the assembly election. Later NCP offered an outside support to the BJP but it backed off after one month as Sena formally joined the Fadnavis government. The outcome of the KDMC poll will act as decisive factor between the Sena and BJP as to who is the boss. Sena is unhappy with the functioning of the BJP and has always expressed its dissatisfaction in the party mouthpiece Saamna.
Sena doesn’t want to play second fiddle to the BJP and also is demanding more ministerial berths from the saffron party. On the other hand, the BJP wants to expand its foothold in Maharashtra and is keen to keep a check on Sena’s growth in the state. BJP is also planning to contest the 2017 Mumbai municipal corporation election solo. According to political parties even though Shiv Sena will perform well in KDMC polls but it will have to rely on BJP’s support.
More than 12 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the twin cities, distant suburbs of Mumbai, where over 700 candidates are in the fray for 117 seats which are up for grabs. Thane police had deployed 2,549 constables, 257 home guards, three companies of SRPF, 99 police vehicles, three DCPs, 11 ACPs, 58 inspectors and 250 assistant police inspectors on poll duty. Voters had to stand in line for two hours for exercising their franchise. Many of them were unable to find their names in the voter list and returned home disappointed.
With both Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis taking potshots at each other this time publicly, the poll tamasha has become very interesting. “Whether Sena wins or the BJP, they still have to come together to ensure good government to the voters, the way they did after the assembly elections in Maharashtra,” said Prakash Bal, a political analyst.
“But the trends suggest that the Sena is likely to emerge as the single largest party who will need an ally to come to power,” he added.
The voters will elect their 117 civic representatives among the candidates put up by main political parties like Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress, NCP and MNS. Independents, too had contested the election. The KDMC polls were held amid tight security to prevent any unlawful incidents. Minor clashes were reported between BJP and MNS party activists in Dombivli. Heavy polling was witnessed in 27 villages which were excluded from KDMC. Shiv Sena had won 31 seats while BJP had won 9 seats and MNS had won 31 seats in 2010 KDMC polls.
“Today people want development and are not interested in caste based politics. Political parties are only involved in blame game instead of focusing on core issues” said Arvind Deshmukh, a Kalyan resident.
Elaborate arrangements were made for peaceful conduct of the polls. The counting of votes will take place on November 2.