Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today termed the BJP’s victory in the municipal council polls in the state as not just a wave but a tsunami.
“This (victory) is not merely a wave. This is a tsunami,” Fadnavis, who joined in the celebrations at the state BJP office in south Mumbai, told reporters.
“The BJP government is one which thinks of the common man,” Fadnavis said, adding people have reposed their trust in the BJP-led regime.
“People have shown that BJP is the number one party in Maharashtra. We dedicate this victory to the people of Maharashtra,” the Chief Minister said.
“We are governing the state keeping Shivaji Maharaj as our idol,” he added.
With the government introducing direct elections for the post of president in the 147 municipal councils, the BJP won 52 seats, Shiv Sena 23, Congress 19, NCP 16 and others 28.
The BJP has surged ahead in elections for the 3,510 municipal council member seats, held on party lines, in the Congress-NCP bastions, specially in western Maharashtra. The party-wise tally: BJP (851), Shiv Sena (514), NCP (638), Congress (643), MNS (16), BSP (9), CPM (12), local coalitions (384), Independents (324), unrecognised members (119).
Results of all 3,705 seats for which polls were held on Sunday, are expected by this evening, an official in the state election commission said.
BJP’s victory in the first phase of the civic polls in Maharashtra has come as a shot in the arm for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who can now more tenaciously take on the Opposition as well as ally Shiv Sena.
The polls are being considered a litmus test for Fadnavis, who led the BJP campaign to make inroads in the rural areas where Congress and NCP hold sway, and have been keenly watched as they are being held post demonetisation.
The results of 164 civic bodies, declared yesterday, are also seen by political observers as a sign of the ruling party firming its grip on the semi-urban and rural parts of the state.
It belied hopes of the Congress and NCP to cash in on the fallout of note scrapping on the rural economy and small trade as well as the campaign by the Maratha community for quota in jobs and education.
The Congress and NCP leaders however have sought to put up a brave face holding that this was “just the first round” of the multi-phased elections and hundreds of civic bodies across the state are yet to go to polls.
As the results started pouring in BJP’s favour, Prime Minister Narendra Modi last evening termed the outcome as a “win for pro-poor and development politics of BJP.”
Modi also lauded Fadnavis and state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve for the party’s performance in the grass-roots level electoral exercise, held in the backdrop of the demonetisation move.
Significantly, the results could also have an impact on the crucial Mumbai Municipal polls slated in early next year.
The BMC, as the largest and the richest urban civic body is known in local parlance, has been controlled by Shiv Sena for quiet a long time and there is speculation on whether the two
saffron parties would forge an alliance this time as well.
Mumbai BJP leaders voiced confidence of repeating the success in upcoming rounds of polls not only in other parts of the state but in the megapolis as well.