Accepting responsibility of the Congress' poor show in the Mumbai civic polls, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday said there was a need to introspect and analyse what went wrong. He, however, refuted rumours of his resignation.
Mr. Chavan did not give reasons for the defeat and shot down suggestions that inter-party rivalry was the cause. He claimed there was a problem in just one Lok Sabha segment over seat allocation and that was sorted out.
However, he acceded to the party's “mistake” in Thane, saying that the advantage slipped away a few days before the polls.
While he thought the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena would do well and increase their tally, 28 seats were not expected. Mr. Chavan added that while the saffron alliance was just short of a majority, the Congress would not make any effort to attain power with the help of independents or other parties.
The Shiv Sena, which had worked for a victory with huge rallies by Bal Thackeray in Mumbai and Thane and a blitz of colour ads daily before the polls, was jubilant. The party's executive president Uddhav Thackeray said that he was overwhelmed by the results in Mumbai where the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party-Republican Party of India (RPI) coalition has won the municipal corporation election.
“It might be a record of sorts that we have won the corporation elections for the fourth time in a row,” he told reporters at the Shiv Sena Bhavan here.
Agreeing that the results were a run-up to the 2014 State Legislature election, he said: “To those who had raised questions about the leadership capabilities, we have shown what we can do. The result speaks for itself. People could see our work and so voted for us. The Chief Minister had to roam around in every corner of the city for votes, but still it was we who won.”
He said that the result had routed the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the city. “It is time for their decimation,” Mr. Thackeray said.
Expressing happiness about the Congress-NCP alliance for the city's civic polls for the first time, he said, “I had said then, that this was an opportunity. If they would not have come together, people would have belittled our success saying that we won because the votes were divided between the two Congresses.”
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Madhukar Pichad said the Sena appealed to the people of Mumbai who had voted emotionally for the party.
‘Mumbai for Maharashtrians'
People in the city expressed happiness about the result.
“Mumbai belongs to the Maharashtrians. It is okay if we do not get water at times, but the sons of the soil should get preference in the city,” a Shiv Sena supporter told The Hindu.
“The Sena has improved the roads, given water, laid pipelines, constructed gardens,” Shreeram Kelkar, a shop-owner in Dadar, said.