BJP passes 1st DeMo test, gains big in BMC polls

PM sees result as a "great start to 2017"
Report by: 
Agencies
Mumbai
23 Feb 2017

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday showcased an impressive performance by winning 82 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and majorly gaining in elections held for other municipal bodies such as Nagpur, Nashik, Amravati and Pune. The BMC poll is the first major election that the BJP faced after the Union government announced the demonetisation move on November 8, 2016.

The Shiv Sena finished on top of a hung BMC but the BJP said it could take control of India's richest civic body with the backing of independents. Sena finished with just 84 of the 227 seats. BJP emerged as the big winner by conquering Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Akola, Amravati, Solapur, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Ulhasnagar. Buoyed by the party's performance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the party was working in a determined way to create a strong and inclusive India. Modi also thanked 'each and every Indian' for continuously placing their faith in BJP. At the same time, he congratulated BJP's Maharashtra team and state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for 'for working tirelessly among the people'.

"Through hard work, determination and work on the ground, BJP is now a strong force both in urban and rural Maharashtra. BJP is unwavering in the resolve to serve Maharashtra with unparalleled diligence, transparency and taking the state to even greater heights," he tweeted. In another tweet, the Prime Minister stated: "It has been a great start to 2017! First the unprecedented support in Odisha & now the overwhelming blessings from people of Maharashtra". "Extremely thankful to the sisters & brothers of Maharashtra for reposing their faith in BJP & in politics of development & good governance", Modi wrote. As it put up a sterling performance in civic polls across Maharashtra including the cash-rich BMC, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said BJP's victory resulted from a vote for transparency and demonetisation.

A jubilant Fadnavis, who spearheaded BJP's poll campaign, said the party's core committee will decide the future course of action in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). "All decisions for the party are taken by its core committee. Whether or not to go for an alliance will be decided when I, (Maharashtra BJP President) Raosaheb Danve, (Mumbai BJP chief) Ashish Shelar sit and look at the prevailing situation," Fadnavis told newspersons here. BJP president Amit Shah congratulated the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and state unit chief Raosaheb Patil Danve for the "unprecedented success". Union minister Prakash Javadekar told a press conference that the party's performance in Maharashtra as well as Odisha local body polls and the losses of the Congress showed that the poor has now deserted its rival and is supporting policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "The pro-poor plank used to be with the Congress but is now with us. It's a big win. The results have showed that all sections of society are voting for the BJP. The results of Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand state polls will be on the similar lines. The results in Punjab will also be surprising," he said.

As uncertainty loomed large in the BMC polls due to a hung house, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today exuded confidence that the party will retain the coveted Mayor's post, even as he hesitated to give a definitive answer on whether there would be an alliance. "What is the hurry? Wait for some time. We have not yet decided if an alliance is to be made or not. We will do so soon," Thackeray said at a press conference.
"But I can assure that not only the Mayor, even the future chief minister will be from the Sena," he said. Apart from Mumbai, the municipal corporations which went to the polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati, and Nagpur.