ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mumbai Elections: Divided and Ruled

In retrospect, the Congress Party’s dismissal of a pre-poll survey that indicated that the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine would win between 95 and 120 seats in the Mumbai civic elections, showed how out of touch with reality the party was. The SS-BJP alliance beat the incumbency factor (it did not field many of the sitting corporators) to win 112 seats and with the support of independents is set to rule the city for a third consecutive term. Its record in the past two terms and the smugness with which it has greeted this victory does not bode too well for Mumbai.

In retrospect, the Congress Party’s dismissal of a pre-poll survey that indicated that the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine would win between 95 and 120 seats in the Mumbai civic elections, showed how out of touch with reality the party was. The SS-BJP alliance beat the incumbency factor (it did not field many of the sitting corporators) to win 112 seats and with the support of independents is set to rule the city for a third consecutive term. Its record in the past two terms and the smugness with which it has greeted this victory does not bode too well for Mumbai.

The usual aggressive posturing by the Shiv Sena was not in evidence in the last couple of years. It had lost a personality like Raj Thackeray (his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena won seven seats in Mumbai and totally 35 across the state) and the powerful Narayan Rane had crossed over to the Congress. Bal Thackeray had been keeping indifferent health, his son Uddhav did not have his father’s ability to play to the gallery and the BJP’s most well-known leader in Maharashtra, Pramod Mahajan, had died. And no one had any doubts about the SS-BJP’s dismal performance at the helm.

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