Mumbai: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s gambit to go solo in all future elections is proving to be productive for the party as it increased its strength by two in the Upper House after results of the biennial poll for six seats in the local authority constituencies were declared.
The poll was held in six seats but the results were announced for five and withheld in one due to a court case. Even though the Sena did not have a single MLC where the poll was held, its strength went up to 11, as against nine earlier. On the other hand, the loss of a single seat may jeopardise the post of vice chairman of Upper House for the Congress.
Although they may be publicly criticising each other, ruling estranged allies, the BJP and the Shiv Sena, helped each other win two seats each out of the five constituencies. The results announced on Thursday reflect widespread cross-voting by the Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress and the BJP in Raigad, Nashik and Parbhani constituencies, triggering alarm bells.
The results of the five constituency seats has altered the numerical strength of the respective political parties in the Legislative Council. Sena spokesperson Dr Neelam Gorhe said, “We contested in three out of five seats and won two. This is a major gain for the party and will boost the morale of Shiv Sainiks who want to contest the next Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections alone.” She said that Sena has a hold in Marathwada and hence they were confident about victory in Parbhani; however, Nashik was tough. But the party’s strong network and personal interface with voters saw it through in Nashik, which is an NCP bastion. The BJP retained its seats of Wardha-Chandrapur-Gadchiroli and Amravati. The loss in Wardha is a jolt for the Congress; it had an understanding with the NCP and had swapped Wardha for Osmanabad-Latur-Beed.