Hung house in Kalyan-Dombivali, Congress-NCP smell power in Kolhapur

Mumbai, Nov 2 (IANS) The Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) elections threw up a hung house on Monday, with the Shiv Sena edging past the BJP, while the Congress-NCP combine appeared set to retain power in the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC).

All the four major parties, which were ruling the outgoing civic bodies in alliance, fought the elections separately this time after their split prior to the October 2014 assembly polls that propelled the BJP to power.

The Shiv Sena emerged as the single largest party by winning 52 of the 122 seats in the KDMC. The BJP stood second with 42 while the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) secured nine seats.

Worried by a 10-seat shortfall to secure a simple majority, the Shiv Sena may be compelled to seek the support of other parties unless it decides to tie up with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Congress got four seats in the KDMC, the NCP two, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Bahujan Samaj Party won one seat each.

Three candidates were elected unopposed in this civic body in Thane district. The elections were boycotted by voters in two constituencies and these may be held later.

Despite fighting the elections bitterly and separately for the first time since the 2014 assembly polls, the Sena-BJP secured handsome wins in KDMC, mostly at the cost of the Congress and MNS.

The Sena improved upped its tally from 31 (2010) to 52 seats this time, while the BJP shot up from nine (2010) to 42, an almost five-time hike in its tally,

On the other hand, the Congress tumbled from 15 (2010) to just four, and the MNS was humbled from 27 (2010) to only nine seats this time.

In the 81-member KMC, the Congress emerged the single largest party with 27 seats followed by the NCP with 15. The BJP and allies secured 32 seats, with four going to the Shiv Sena.

Hoping to grab power, the Congress immediately announced that its nominee would be the next mayor.

The Congress also declared that it would secure the backing of three independents and local party candidates to cross the magic figure of 42 in the KMC.

The architect of the Congress win in Kolhapur, Satej Patil, announced that the party would try to form an alliance with the NCP in the western Maharashtra city.

In KMC, the BJP tied up with a local ally, Tararani Aghadi, an alliance of erstwhile independent winners who united into a registered political party – to improve its tally from three (2010) to 12. The latter got 20 seats.

The Sena maintained a status quo of four seats in both 2010 and 2015.

The Congress and NCP suffered marginally, with their tally dropping as compared to 2010 in KMC.

The Congress, which held 31 seats, had to be content with 27 (2015), and NCP tally fell from 25 to 15, the losses mostly attributed to Tararani Aghadi.

The Shiv Sena organised boisterous celebrations and claimed that it “had shown” (“hamne dikha diya”) its strength in KDMC.

Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said: “We are very happy with the outcome. The BJP has gained on all fronts.”

According to the State Election Commission, 47 percent of the electorate voted in the KDMC polls and 69 percent in the KMC elections on Sunday.

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