Mumbai: The BJP and Shiv Sena finished neck-to-neck and were engaged in a tussle today to control India’s richest and biggest civic body, the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation today.
On other hand, the Shiv Sena emerged on the top with 84 seats, the BJP was a close second at 82, and claiming the support of at least four independents, announced it would stake claim to the key post of Mayor.
Any party or combine requires 114 corporators for a simple majority in the 227-member BMC house.
“The BJP core committee will meet and take a decision. We shall respect the verdict of the people,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Thursday evening. He thanked the electorate, saying they have “reposed complete in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies of development for all”.
The Shiv Sena activists started early celebrations as it appeared set to retain control of the BMC, but by late evening, the BJP surpassed all expectations and became an equal contender for the post of mayor.
BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar said the party was in a position to claim the mayor’s post.
But Sena President Uddhav Thackeray did not agree and said that “the Mayor will be from Shiv Sena”, which emerged the single largest party.
An aggressive Shiv Sena adopting a shrill anti-BJP stance had snapped ties with the BJP ahead of the municipal elections with Thackeray anticipating at least 100 seats, if not an outright majority.
The BMC, the country’s largest and richest municipal body, had an annual budget of Rs 37,000 crore in 2016-17.