Congress rejected from everywhere, now it’s from BMC Polls

Sanjay Nirupam
Sanjay Nirupam President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee offered to resign, accepting the responsibility for the scanty result.

Mumbai, Feb 23: The Indian National Congress in recent days was unable to cut short its trend of losing major elections – it downsized its share considerably in the municipal corporation that runs Mumbai, accruing 31 seats (according to leads at around 4.30 pm), down from 52 on previous elections.

Sanjay Nirupam an Ex. Member of Parliament and current President of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee offered to resign, accepting the responsibility for the scanty result.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which handling an annual budget of 37,000 crores, has 227 seats.

It has been run for 4 successive terms (20 years) by the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

But this time, in a breakup delivered by the allies’ increasing disagreements, BJP and Shiv Sena contested in the BMC Polls separately.

At 6.00 pm, the Shiv Sena, headed by Uddhav Thackeray, was barely ahead (84 of 227 seats), and the Bharatiya Janata Party more than doubled its achievement in the last election (81 of 227 seats compared to 32 in the last term election).

Milind Murli Deora, a former MP from Mumbai South from the Congress party, tweeted an admission of defeat.

The party’s performance in the election was undermined by a fight between Sanjay Nirpuam and senior leader Gurudas Kamat, who pulled out of the campaign because his inputs, including for the selection of candidates, were reportedly being ignored.

“Some issues were ignored from some months and we kept working. It showed everything now with the poll results” added the Congress leader.

Hailing the civic polls verdict, senior BJP leader, and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar says this a step towards “Congress-free India”. “The results in BMC Polls have shown that we are moving towards a Congress-free India. In eight corporations, we have won single-handed. It’s a triumph for the BJP and defeat for the Congress and the NCP. The Congress has lost the plot.”

After the humiliating loss in BMC Polls, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala blames differences in the party. “We lost because of differences in the party and politicians. We will introspect” he said.

A senior journalist who has covered Mumbai for many years, however, feels that the Congress was able to hold on to some of its seats despite no top leader campaigning for the party in local body polls. “Owaisi would have damaged their prospects and also infighting. They have, however, arrested the fall to less than 25 seats in Mumbai.”

Delivering a 25-year-high of 55 percent Mumbai set a record for voter turnout in this election.
The election for BMC is also being viewed as a mid-term report card on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who led the campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Uddhav Thackeray, the chief of  Shiv Sena had said that he would decide after this result on whether to remain partnered with the BJP in the coalition government that runs in Maharashtra State.