BJP’s poll spirit halts in Nanded
“This victory shows that the BJP is receding,” he said, adding that divisive politics, personal attacks and impact of demonetisation and GST on traders, workers, farmers and the common man had led to anger against the party.
The BJP had staged a coup by weaning over Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Patil Chikhalikar, who is a known opponent of Chavan, and had also ensured the defection of Chavan’s former associates such as MLA Omprakash Pokarna. However, the BJP found some balm on its wounds in Mumbai, where its Jagruti Patil trounced the Shiv Sena’s Meenakshi Patil by 4,792 votes in Bhandup, a Sena stronghold. This has increased the BJP’s strength to 82 in the 227-member house as against the ruling Shiv Sena’s 84.
One seat is va- cant due to the death of BJP corporator and former deputy mayor Shailaja Girkar; another seat is vacant due to an independent corporator being disqualified on cas te grounds. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, known for crossing swords with the Shiv Sena leadership, said that the power equation in the BMC may change in their favour with the Sena losing its slim margin over it. “Next year, the BJP will have 84 seats and the Sena will have 83, and the BMC will be mafia mukt. (Shiv Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray must shun his arrogance now,” he said.
Deepak Pawar, assistant professor, department of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai, noted that the nanded victory indicated all was not over for the Congress and would serve as a booster shot for it.