BJP & Sena are close to hugging in a hung House 

Both parties do well in Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation but fall short of majority; Congress and the NCP restricted to periphery; Congress keeps control of Kolhapur .

Mumbai : The BJP and the Shiv Sena have improved their tally in the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation but both failed to secure a clear majority. However, the Sena, which edged past the BJP in the hung house, is within striking distance of the magic mark, just 11 short of majority. The corporation is a 122-member body, and two seats are vacant at the moment.  The Congress-NCP combine was relegated to the fourth position with six seats, trailing behind the Raj Thackeray-led MNS which bagged nine seats. It seems that aggression in the run-up to the poll helped both the Sena and the BJP. The latter secured 43 seats and with the help of the independents and allies; its tally this time is 49, an impressive improvement over the erstwhile score of nine.

According to political observers, though both parties were sniping at each other on poll eve, the electorate has decided that the two saffron parties will share the political space in the Kalyan-Dombivali region with the Congress and the NCP restricted to the electoral periphery. But even as the Shiv Sena emerged the single largest party (51 seats) in the bitterly contested poll, it was jolted by the defeat of Mayor Kalyani Patil at the hands of BJP’s Suman Nikam. Despite the bitterness of the campaign, the Sena and the BJP may yet join hands in the corporation. If it is averse to doing so, then the Sena will have to seek the support of other parties (read MNS). Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who handled the poll campaign in Kalyan-Dombivali, said voters did not fall prey to the ‘misleading campaign’ by ‘others’ in an apparent reference to the BJP. State Co-operation Minister and Guardian Minister of Kolhapur, Chandrakant Patil of the BJP, said that they  could have won at least 12 more seats by putting in a little more effort; in these seats it lost by a slender margin of 50-100 votes.

The BJP corporators had a meeting late in the evening. The Shiv Sena, too, has called for a meeting of its MLAs on Tuesday, where the issues related to the alliance are likely to be discussed. However, both the parties have not said anything officially on the issue as yet. MNS general secretary Nitin Sardesai said that nobody has approached their party for support as yet. “If people come forward with concrete proposals we might consider extending support to them,” he said. On the other hand, Satej Patil of the Congress has kept his tenacious hold on the bastion of Kolhapur, almost single handed; the NCP and the MNS were completely marginalized. In the 81-ward municipal corporation, the Congress emerged as the single largest party by bagging 27 seats, followed by the NCP with 15. The BJP-Tararani combine got 32 (BJP-12 and Tararani Front 20). The Sena managed to win only 4 seats while others got 3.Congress leader and former state minister Satej Patil said his party would try to forge an alliance with the NCP, so that they can control the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation.

State BJP president Raosaheb Danve said that the party is in a position to come to power in 31 municipal councils across the state. The BJP has secured a clear majority in 10 councils — Murbad (Thane), Karjat (A.Nagar), Deola (Nashik), Soygaon (Aurangabad), Jalkot (Latur), Sangrampur (Buldhana), Ralegaon (Yavatmal), Lakhandur (Bhandara), Samudrapur (Vardha) and Pombhurna (Chandrapur). MPCC Chief Ashok Chavan, in turn, said that the Congress has emerged as the largest party in most of the councils and their 254 candidates have won. The party is also amenable to sharing power with like-minded allies, he added.

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