Sena in shock as BJP narrows gap in BMC
The defeat in byelections to BMC’s Bhandup seat comes as a shock for the Shiv Sena. On Thursday, BJP’s Jagruti Patil’s trounced Sena’s Meenakshi Patil by 4,792 votes. The election in the ward number 116 was necessitated by the death of Congress corporator and Jagruti’s motherin-law Pramila Patil.
Shiv Sena sources admitted that apart from sympathy towards the BJP candidate, the defeat showed that the party’s policy of being in power yet acting out the role of the opposition was working against it. Meenakshi is the wife of local Shiv Sena MLA Ashok Patil.
Jagruti Patil, who attributed the victory to her mother-in-law and her work in the ward, got 11,129 votes against Meenakshi’s 6,337 votes. Pramila Singh of the Congress secured just 972 votes.
After this win, BJP now has 82 corporators against the Sena’s 84. Though the BJP had won 82 seats in the BMC polls in February, the death of Kandivali corporator Shailaja Girkar had brought down its tally to 81.
“This was the result of a sympathy vote. This is a victory of the Patil family and not that of the BJP,” said a Shiv Sena source. However, there is a larger message for the Shiv Sena, which continues to be part of the governments and still takes on the BJP.