Mumbai, Feb 23: With more than 55.28 percent of voters in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) voting in the Mumbai civic elections, all eyes are now on the BMC results that will be declared on February 23. The Zee 24 Taas exit poll indicates that no party will be able to form the government in the city and if the ‘big brother’ Shiv Sena does not form an alliance with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then the party may have to join hands with its rival parties if it wants to continue ruling the country’s richest municipal corporation.
After the 2012 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was then in an alliance with Shiv Sena was not expecting much in the city and the party was happy with the limited power it received in the city from its ‘big brother’ Shiv Sena. However, by 2017, things changed in the country as well as in the state which made BJP stronger in Mumbai. With Narendra Modi at centre and Devendra Fadnavis in the state, BJP Mumbai founded a new leadership and in the 2017 civic elections, the party contested the BMC elections independently. If exit polls are to be believed, the party has been successful in forming its own base in Mumbai and BJP is emerging as the second largest party in the city.
Marathi news channel Zee24 Taas has predicted 90-96 seats for Sena, 78-82 seats to BJP and 27-30 seats for Congress. To form the government in the city, the parties must cross the half mark of 114 seats. If this exit poll is to be believed, Sena might form the government in the city along with Congress or with the help of independent and other small parties. Shiv Sena and Congress has formed a pre-poll alliance for the Raigad Zilla Panchayat.
However, political experts state that the alliance with Congress may create a negative impact for Shiv Sena as the political ideologies of both the parties are very different. Experts have also stated that BJP would be happy to be in the opposition in BMC and keep an eye on the Shiv Sena governance in the city. BJP has been attacking Shiv Sena alleging the party for corruption in the municipal council.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and state Congress chief Ashok Chavan denied any such alliance with Sena for Mumbai. Speaking with india.com, Ashok Chavan stated that Sena and Congress have different political ideologies and there is no question of forming an alliance between both the parties. On being asked about the pre-poll alliance between both the parties for Raigad Zilla Parishad, Chavan stated that the alliance was formed at a hyper-local level and the Congress party has already sent out letters questioning the local party workers for the alliance with Shiv Sena.
Shiv Sena, on the other hand, has not commented anything on the alliance and the party is still confident of winning the BMC elections and forming the government in the city.
Results for BMC elections along with 9 other Municipal Corporations will be declared on February 23.