Party viewed these elections as curtain-raiser for BMC polls in 2017, but won only 9 seats
Mumbai : The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), for whom the fight at the KDMC was considered to be the ‘litmus test’ for their vision of development, couldn’t even achieve a two-digit figure. This is yet another blow to the party that has taken successive blows in the past couple of years.
The party, which had been fast losing popularity, was hoping to revive its dwindling fortunes in the KDMC polls. The fact that the polls were being seen as a curtain raiser for the BMC polls meant that a lot was at stake for the MNS at KDMC. But, even after a spectacular campaign by party chief Raj Thackeray, the party that had 26 corporations in the last house will have only nine now.
During the KDMC campaign, the MNS had pitched its performance in the Nashik Municipal Corporation to woo voters. If the idea had clicked in the KDMC, it would have set the tone for the MNS to orient itself for the Mumbai corporation polls in 2017. But that idea appears to have failed.
A senior MNS functionary told FPJ on condition of anonymity that the party leadership had asked its local cadres to go all out and campaign aggressively. “It was almost like portraying a make-or-break situation. Now, the toughest challenge would be to take party workers out of the mindset,” the functionary said.
For the party that had been facing successive defeats over the last couple of years, the KDMC polls could have helped break the losing streak. But that didn’t happen. “We went to the polls with a positive outlook. We honour the people’s verdict,” said MNS general secretary and former legislator Nitin Sardesai.
The precondition of “total power to transform the city” might not have gone down well with the voters, as also the party’s thrust on chief Raj Thackeray’s charisma. Thackeray, who addressed five rallies, had raised the pitch of the campaign, which ultimately turned out as a war of words between the BJP and Sena bigwigs.