MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena-BJP combine retained the Mumbai civic bodies for the fourth consecutive time as the ruling partners in the state — the Congress and the NCP — lost face in the civic polls.
It was good news for Thackerays - Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son party executive president Uddhav. This elections were perceived to be one of the toughest for the Shiv Sena-BJP combine on account of several factors, including the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Congress-NCP alliance and pathetic conditions of the city roads.
The Shiv Sena got 76 seats, eight more than what it got in 2007, along with 29 seats of the BJP and one of the RPI(A), it will elect its Mayor and chairman from various civic committees. State’s Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, may have to give lots of explanation to the party high command over its debacle in the civic polls.
The Congress managed to win 53 seats out of the 169 it contested - 18 less than the previous elections.
Congress ally NCP, which wanted to contest in over 78 seats but settled for 58, managed to win 13 seats, one less than what it got in the previous elections.
The NCP has never managed to go beyond 14 corporators in Mumbai. Besides the debacle of the Congress-NCP combine, another poor show has been put up by Raj Thackeray’s MNS. During the campaigning, Raj had first said that the Mayor could not be elected without the support of his party and later claimed that his party would be the single largest party.