Mumbai's new Mayor: Vishwanath Mahadeshwar
Vishwanath Mahadeshwar of the Shiv Sena has been elected as Mumbai's 76th mayor and is set to take charge from Snehal Ambekar. Winning 171 votes, he defeated Congress nominee Vithal Lokare who got only 31 votes. Samajwadi Party corporators abstained from voting, while MNS corporators were absent. BJP corporators voted in favour of the Shiv Sena nominee.
BMC elections explained
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections are held in Mumbai wards to elect the mayor. There are 227 seats in the BMC and the majority party elects the mayor. 2017 BMC elections were scheduled to be held on 21 Feb and the results will be declared on 23 Feb. In the last elections, Shiv Sena won 75 seats, BJP 31, Congress 52, and NCP 13.
Maharashtra civic elections
In the so-called 'mini-assembly election', voting is being held across 10 major civic bodies including Nagpur, Thane, Pune, and Nashik, along with 11 zilla parishads and 118 panchayat samitis. This is the second part of Maharashtra civic elections. First part was held recently.
Main parties in fray
2,275 candidates are contending for the 227-seat BMC election and 92 lakh Mumbai voters will decide their fate. The main parties include : the Congress, BJP, NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), Shiv Sena, MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena), Samajwadi Party, and others. The election for the country's richest civic body will primarily be a tussle between the estranged allies Shiv Sena and the BJP.
The BJP-Shiv Sena battle
Shiv Sena and BJP had a fallout after BJP, the junior partner in the alliance, asked for a lion's share of seats to contest in BMC elections. If Sena loses the control of BMC which it dominated for two decades, it stands to lose the little political space left after BJP redefined itself as a major partner in the last assembly and national elections.
Citizens struggle to search polling booths
Reportedly Mumbaikars have struggled to search for their polling stations. Many of the voters did not receive any slip mentioning their booth number, causing the confusion. Some others had tough time finding their names on the voter list too.
BMC elections record Mumbai's highest voter turnout since 1992
Mumbai registered its highest voter turnout in 25 years - 55.28% - in the recent BMC elections, with a hike of 6-7% than 1992. There was a surge in turnout in Malabar Hill (48.17%), Borivli (61%), Matunga and Wadala (58%) and Mulund (60%), all BJP strongholds. High voting was also recorded in the Sena bastions of Worli (53%), Mahim (54%) and Parel (55.27%).
BMC Elections 2017: BJP stole the show
BMC has declared results for 226 electoral wards out of 227. Of these, Shiv Sena has a tally of 84 seats so far, with the BJP following closely with 82 seats. Despite of this, BJP is the clear winner, having grown by 150% from its 31 seats. NCP has won 9, MNS 7, other candidates 13 while counting is underway for 1 seat.
Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam offered resignation
Accepting responsibility for Congress's bleak performance in the BMC Elections 2017, Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Chief of the Congress offered to resign from his post. Congress could win only 31 seats, which are substantially less than its existing tally of 52 seats.
Shiv-Sena BJP alliance on the cards after big wins?
After the Shiv Sena emerged the single largest party in the BMC elections (84 seats), with the BJP just two seats lower, the estranged parties might have to join hands as both are far below the 114 needed to win power. Though both sides seem open for a fresh alliance, Sena might also explore tie-ups with the Congress (31), NCP (9) and MNS (7).
BMC Elections: BJP considering outside support to Sena?
Sources said that after a meeting between PM Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, and other leaders, BJP might decide to extend outside support to Shiv Sena, its former partner, to break the deadlock at the BMC. Modi has reportedly advised against "unnatural alliances". The move seemingly aims to keep Sena close and the Congress away. BJP will make an official announcement 1-2 days.
BMC Polls: BJP won't contest mayoral polls
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis clarified that the BJP will not contest the Mayoral polls and has reportedly asked BJP corporators to vote for Shiv Sena nominees in the Mayoral and Deputy Mayoral polls. He said the BJP will also not claim the post of the leader of the opposition in the BMC. He said "We want Mumbaikars to run Mumbai."