Mumbai: A thumping win in the Bhandup by-poll has proved to be yet another shot in the arm for the buoyant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as it is now breathing down Shiv Sena's neck to become the single largest party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The election was held on Wednesday that saw an aggressive campaign by both the BJP and the Shiv Sena. If the Sena withdraws support to the BJP, the Fadnavis government will be in a minorit and will need help from Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party or NCP.The BJP dramatically improved its performance in this year's BMC election from the 31 wards that it had won last time. Jagruti polled 11,129 votes, whereas Minakshi received 6,337 votes.
The by-election was necessitated after the death of Congress corporator Pramila Patil on April 25.
With the victory, the BJP's tally in the 227-member BMC has risen to 83; the Sena's strength remains at 84. The Congress had fielded Pramila Singh as its candidate. She was elected from Ward No. 21 (R-central Ward), which consists of Charkop area. BJP candidate Jagruti Patil, daughter-in-law of the late Congress corporator Pamila Patil, defeated the Shiv Sena candidate by 4,892 votes.
The caste certificate of Changez Multani, an independent who extended support to the Sena, is under dispute, but it won't affect the Sena's tally as party candidate Raju Pedanekar emerged second in the polls at Ward No. 62. Despite this, the Shiv Sena continues to maintain its lead in the civic body with 84 sitting corporators, two more than its former ally. Earlier this year, during the BMC election in February, she had lost to Pramila Patil by a thin margin. "Truth is easier, but bitter!"