Lotus blooms in Mira-Bhayander polls, Shiv Sena jolted

BJP

Continuing its winning spree in local bodies polls, Maharashtra’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday swept the elections to Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC), while its ally Shiv Sena suffered a huge setback despite improving its tally.

The BJP secured nearly two-thirds majority by bagging 61 of the total 95 seats and almost doubled its tally compared to 32 corporators in the previous election.

The Shiv Sena, which held 15 seats in the outgoing house and contested separately, returned with an increased tally of 22 seats, but came a distant second.

Even before the official results were announced, BJP leaders grabbed the opportunity to take potshots at the Shiv Sena.

“For the fifth time in Mumbai Metropolitan Region area, Mumbai, Palghar, Kalyan-Dombivali and Panvel, some peoples’ strength has been exposed,” said Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar.

“The people of Mira-Bhayander have rejected the invitation to disaster and rallied behind CM’s transparent developmental agenda,” he tweeted.

In a more direct reaction, party MP Kirit Somaiya said: “MBMC election… disaster of Shiv Sena. Hope now Bandra supremo (Uddhav Thackeray) will accept reality and respect PM Modi and CM Fadnavis.”

The opposition also suffered a major setback with the Congress managing to get 10 seats, down from 18 in the last elections, while only two Independent candidates managed to score wins – down from the earlier four.

All other major state and national parties in the fray, including Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Janata Dal-U, Janata Dal-S, CPI-M, CPI, IUML, AIMIM, BSP, AIADMK and others were completely wiped out in the elections in which 509 candidates contested for 95 seats.

Immediately after the results, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “MBMC election victory is because of wave of ‘Vishwas & Vikas’ (Trust and Progress) created by PM Narendra Modiji and Team BJP’s efforts!”

Assuring the million-strong population of Mira Road-Bhayander twin towns in south-west Thane of “speedy development”, he thanked the people for giving the BJP a spectacular victory.

“I will ensure that the developmental works through the MBMC would be speeded up to fulfill the peoples’ wishes and expectations,” he added.

With this, the BJP will elect its own Mayor and Deputy Mayor, besides capturing all other important posts in the new house.

The BJP had virtually made it a prestige issue to bag MBMC with several union ministers, leaders from other BJP states and top state leaders including Fadnavis joining the campaign in the past few weeks.

Mira-Bhayander is a flourishing township with a large concentration of Muslims in Thane district, across the north-west border of Mumbai.