Mumbai, Feb 21: Electorate in Mumbai stunned pollsters by recording the highest voter-turnout in past 25 years. 55 polling per cent was recorded in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections 2017 held today. In the 2012 BMC polls, 45.3 per cent voting was recorded, whereas, the polling figure was merely 42 per cent in the 2007 civic elections.Also Read - New COVID-19 Variant 'Serious Threat', Bad Vaccination Figures Cannot Be Hidden: Rahul Gandhi

The high voter turnout is interpreted as ‘wave of change’ by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). On the other hand, Shiv Sena says that citizens of Mumbai expressed their ‘angst against demonetisation’ by turning out to cast their mandate in large numbers. The rival claimants would meet their fate on February 23, when the State Election Commission (SEC) would announce the results. Also Read - Congress MLA From Rae Bareli Aditi Singh, BSP MLA From Azamgarh Vandana Singh Join BJP

The civic elections of Mumbai turned centrestage of political discourse in the nation, as the 25-year-old allies – Shiv Sena and BJP, fought a bitter electoral battle. Although the Hindutva partners are still ruling the government in the State, both have indicated the willingness to break the coalition. Also Read - West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Meets PM Modi, Discusses BSF's Jurisdiction Extension Issue

The results of BMC elections would be declared on February 23. The results on Thursday would decide the fate of Devendra Fadnavis’ government. “We would decide whether to stay or walk away from the ruling coalition after Thursday, when the results would be out,” Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray had said in his election rally. Latest updates:

  • “Higher voter turnout means people are yearning for a change and they are in our favour,” BJP leader Madhav Bhandari was quoted as saying by TOIHe further added that people of Mumbai pinned hope in the vision of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and voted en masse to bring the change.
  • BJP also alleged foul play in the deletion of 12 lakh names from the electoral roll. The party has registered a complaint with the SEC, seeking a stern inquiry. 60 per cent voting would had been recorded in Mumbai if the names would had not gone missing, claims Madhav Bhandari.
  • Fadnavis took to Twitter to congratulate the residents of Mumbai for voting in large numbers in the civic elections. “Thank you Mumbai for the record voting percentage and … for participating in festival of democracy,” he posted on social media.
  • Shiv Sena, while, appreciating the high voter turnout in Mumbai, added that electorate have expressed their anguish against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for demonetising the currency. “The massive voter turnout indicates a big wave against Narendra Modi and his demonetisation drive which caused unprecedented amount of hardship to the people,” said Shiv Sena’s South Mumbai MP Arvind Sawant.
  • The exit poll released by India Today-My-Axis India, shows a neck-to-neck battle between Shiv Sena and BJP in Mumbai. Both the parties are predicted to grab 32 per cent of the electorate.
  • In terms of seats, Shiv Sena still holds the edge, as per the survey. Sena is expected to win 86-94 seats, whereas, BJP is predicted to bag 80-88.
  • Meanwhile, the Opposition has been been further degraded in BMC elections. Congress, which currently holds 52 seats, is predicted to emerge victorious on only 30-34. NCP is expected to win merely 3-6 seats. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of firebrand leader Raj Thackeray will win only 5-7 seats, the exit poll claims.
  • Although BMC elections is considered to be a civic poll battle, its financial worth holds special prominence for the political parties. The annual budget allocated for BMC is Rs 37,052 crores. With the amount of revenue it earns, BMC is labelled as the richest civic corporation in Asia.
  • Along with BMC, elections were also held in the municipal corporations of Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Pimpri Chinchwad, Amravati, Solapur, Akola and Ulhasnagar. Along with the civic body elections, the polls were also conducted for 11 Zilla Parishads and 118 Panchayat Samiti posts.