Mumbai

Shiv Sena emerges clear winner in Thane polls

In a first, Shiv Sena emerged a winner on it’s own in the municipal elections in Thane on Thursday, securing more than enough seats for a majority. In Ulhasnagar, however, neither the Shiv Sena nor the Bharatiya Janata Party managed to secure a majority, and all eyes are now on the local Secular Alliance of India (SAI) party to see which way they lean.

In Thane, the Shiv Sena bagged 67 out of the total 131 seats, gaining an easy majority. The Nationalist Congress Party secured 34 seats while the BJP managed to get 23. The Congress could only get three seats, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen two.

Festive atmosphere

The atmosphere outside counting centres in Thane was festive as Shiv Sainiks gathered in hordes, cheering and raising slogans every time the results of each round of counting was announced. Shiv Sena flags sprun up all over the city, while people gathered outside electronics showrooms and TV sets to watch the results live.

The victory is being put down to the development work in the city by the Thane Municipal Corporation under Shiv Sena's leadership, particularly in the last one year. A large number of illegal structures were razed on major roads in the city, leading to widening of the roads and easing of the traffic woes, especially outside the Thane railway station and the roads leading up to the crucial Ghodbunder Road, which used to witness daily traffic jams.

The TMC has also taken action against scores of 'ladies bars' which were serving as fronts for the flesh trade racket, and during one such drive, the TMC discovered a three-storey lodge underground, complete with furniture, water supply and electricity supply.

Split verdict

Of the 78 seats in Ulhasnagar, the BJP secured 32, while the Shiv Sena got 25 seats and the SAI bagged 11. Among others, the NCP got four seats, the Republican Party of India two, the Congress one while three seats were won by Independent candidates.

The split in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is said to have been a factor in neither party winning a majority in Ulhasnagar. However, the BJP fared better than its former ally due to the support of 'Team Omie', a faction headed by Pappu Kalani's son Omie. Last month, Omie had quit the NCP and joined the BJP, taking with him 21 sitting corporators of the NCP. He had himself filed a nomination to contest the elections from the BJP, but it got rejected when an RPI candidate objected to the fact that he was ineligible as he has three children. His wife Pancham, however, was granted a ticket as were several other supporters of Omie's. The Kalani family still enjoys considerable clout in Ulhasnagar, which worked in the BJP's favour. Two of the three independent winners, Kavita Torne and Pramod Tale, are also said to have pledged their support to the BJP.

With neither party getting a majority, the two options before the Sena and BJP are to either join forces with one another or for the BJP to tie up with the SAI party which, with its 11 seats, can provide a more than comfortable majority to the BJP. Both the BJP and the Shiv Sena are said to be wooing the SAI party, and it now remains to be seen which party the SAI chooses to partner with.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:15:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/shiv-sena-emerges-clear-winner-in-thane-polls/article17356857.ece

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