Mumbai: 23rd February 2017 will go down as a Red Letter Day for BJP and Devendra Fadnavis.
They are in the majority in 7 out of 10 city Municipal Corporation elections.
What is most significant is that the scene of Mumbai has changed completely from what it seemed just two hours ago – it is almost on an equal footing with Sena. Sena has 84 and BJP 81.
With this development, leaders of the two parties, specially BJP, have already begun conciliatory noise hinting at the two parties coming together again to maintain their control over BMC, the richest corporation in India.
The morale of the ruling party is high with very positive results in Pune, Nasik, Nagpur and other places.
In Mumbai itself they have increased their seat tally by 1.5 times. Remember they had been offered only 60 or so seats in the alliance with Sena. They have won 81!
Does this also mean that the ‘split’ could have been a well thought of strategy to fight anti incumbency?
By fighting separately they have ruled out any space for opponents, whether it is Congress or MNS or NCP. Many observors are now opining that it was all a well orchestrated move so that catchment of the votes increased with BJP, that was very much a part of the BMC, posturing as an ‘opposition’ party. So the de coupling was nothing but a ploy to retain power.
The two parties will go on play acting of being angry and disillusioned with each other and then come back together saying “it was the verdict of the people!” Remember the same thing happened after they broke their alliance just before the Vidhan Sabha elections?
The ball will now lie in Udhav’s court. If he does not go back with BJP, the other option is joining force with Congress which could be suicidal for both. Specially the Sena, since Congress has stigma of failure written all over it currently.
In hind sight, may be now Congress and NCP will realize what a golden opportunity they had to make a come back which they missed because of big egos and losing touch with reality.
Will BJP leader’s continuous talk of removing “Contractor mafia” and bringing ‘transparency’ into BMC affairs mean a possibility of BJP going with ‘others’ and somehow forming a non Sena coalition to rule over the ‘golden city’ of Mumbai?