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Who will win BMC election?

Ahead of the vital civic polls in Mumbai, Nagpur and eight other municipal corporations on February 21, major party from the region Shiv Sena has again lashed out at the BJP and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis concerning numerous issues, especially the law and order situation in Nagpur and false promises made by CM to Mumbaikar. There have been indifferences between the parties in the past but this time both the parties have been in a deadlock of disagreements over several issues. Now, Sena has attacked the CM in his own fort Nagpur, citing the poor law and order situation over there. The criticism was printed in an article in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna, stating that Nagpur – where polls will be held on the same day as Mumbai – must be saved from the ‘crocodile jaws’ of the BJP. Both the parties have been long-time allies but major differences emerged between them after the government’s demonetisation move. As per reports, there were some disputes between the two parties over the number of seats as well.

This particular attack from the Sena came after Fadnavis had earlier likened the law and order situation in Mumbai to that of Patna, enraging the dominant Maharashtra party. After Fadnavis’s remark, the Sena have stepped up efforts to target the CM in his own backyard.

For the first time, Mumbai BJP adopted an innovative way to start its election campaign by seeking blessings of the Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj and giving a pledge to all its candidates at the fort on the outskirts of Pune. It also ensured that the party sends out a message of a united front by getting all its senior leaders, including guardian minister Girish Bapat, MP Anil Shirole and Sanjay Kakade, all legislators from the city during the launch of the election campaign. BJP also promised neat and clean roads in Mumbai, condition of streets is the biggest issue in this city. Potholes are visible in the metropolis during monsoon season. The party banged on with tempting promises to Mumbaikars, there are thousands of posters across the city reminding each promise made by the chief minister. The campaign is at ground level and larger than life. Every effort is made to sustain with large majority and beat the Sena dominance. The BJP is just walking their way ignoring every criticism by Shiv Sena.

The Shiv Sena is adulterating political environment between the two parties by criticizing BJP but we would ignore them. The BJP would seek votes on performance of state and the Centre based on transparent and good governance. Actually speaking at the moment, BJP has nothing much to score on the basis of merits, let it be state or centre but still there is huge hype and propaganda which can fetch good votes for the party. Looking at the present scenario, BJP would not need assistance of anyone else for coming to power in Pune. The party is first time contesting all seats, except 10 allotted to alliance partner RPI(A), in civic body. Their main rival in civic poll is Congress and the NCP. On the allegations that BJP demanded Rs. two lakh each from all candidates, the state BJP chief said that it was a move to ensure that the candidates do not cross their expenditure limit of Rs. 10 lakh and the funds taken would be used by party for the overall election campaign. All assembly seats from the city were won by BJP in 2014, but they have failed to deliver any results vis-a-vis development of the city.

On the other hand, the NCP started its campaign by holding an election rally in central parts of city by exposing the BJP-led central government for its demonetization policy that whirled a nightmare for citizens. BJP is aiming high to grab power in the PMC on the basis of its performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections in which it won all the seats from the city. At the launch of NCP’s election campaign, its leader Ajit Pawar slammed BJP over its performance at the state and the central-level. NCP wants public to elect its candidate on the basis of development work done by party in the last 10 years.

The NCP has joined hands with the Congress to keep the communal parties away from power. The BJP and Shiv Sena are known for creating tension among different communities. Therefore, the voters should think before they vote. This time BJP has inducted political leaders with criminal background and is promoting wrong practices in the elections.

Congress is struggling to retain their own leaders, as many of their MLA’s are joining BJP. AICC General Secretary Gurudas Kamat, who had openly revolted against the party’s Mumbai unit chief Sanjay Nirupam, had reconsidered his decision and was participating in the campaign for the civic elections in the city. Over a thousand party workers including candidates from Mumbai North West, North East and South Central (constituencies) appealed to him to campaign for them. In view of the appeal, he has decided to withdraw the earlier decision not to campaign. Congress chiefs Janardan Chandurkar, Kripashankar Singh and senior leader Narayan Rane are also campaigning but outside Mumbai in other municipal corporations and zilla parishads in Maharashtra. Right now, Mumbai Congress is divided between Kamat and Nirupam groups. Though, we can’t ignore the fact that Congress has good majority and vote share in BMC elections. Let’s see who rules the Mumbai.

 (Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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