Every election, small or large says something. It is certainly a celebration time for NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) in general and its strongman in Navi Mumbai Ganesh Naik in particular as it retained its 20 year reign in the Rs. 2,000-crore Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in the recently concluded NMMC civic polls.
Out of 111 seats, the jubilant NCP bagged 52 seats followed by Shiv Sena with 38 seats, Congress got 10 seats while BJP could manage only 6 seats and rest 5 seats went to Independents.
Undoubtedly it's not only a period of melancholy but also the time for deep introspection for BJP for its abysmal poor show in the above election.
No doubt Navi Mumbaihas always been a NCP strong hold more clearly considered as NCP leader of Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik's land of monarchy. But it is equally a truth that it had faced a severe drubbing during
Sabha pollsand Assembly polls last year. So NMMC civic polls
were considered as litmus test for him and his party since it is in power since
last three terms.
However for BJP it is certainly a huge set back. The reasons I could conclude for this appalling tallies are:
1.BJP should have fought this election alone: I think BJP could have fared much better had it gone solo for this election instead of a Sena-BJP alliance. It only helped NCP to explore positive prospect of it. Even Manda Mhatre, the BJP MLA from
was against this alliance. I think the top leadership should have given heed to
2.Spoilt sport played by Sena rebellions: Because of the Mahayukti, many aspiring Sena candidates were denied ticket. At least 41 rebellion Sena candidates contested the election on a front floated as the
Navi MumbaiVikas Agahdi which cost BJP dearly as many of its candidate lost with narrow margins as it decreased its vote counts.
3.NCP and Congressfought this election individually. So it benefited NCP.
4.The Bickering in BJP: It is no secret by now that BJP has always this internal rift problem that always impacts its poll prospects. In the civic polls also the internal sabotage in BJP played its part to lower its tallies.
5. Also NCP fought this election on "development" sloganwhich is actually a BJP's plank. But NCP made it successfully "Performance for Development Vs Promise for Development" line which Sena-BJP could hardly crack.
6. Some of my friends also opine that the hate speech by Sena leaders also affected BJP's prospects. It seems BJP's lose has actually resulted in Sena's gain.
Even in vote share BJP suffered badly in comparison to last year's LS polls and Assembly polls. Also only 48.35% of the registered voters polled in this election which always gives an edge to ruling party (less than 50% means an edge to the ruling party). In last assembly polls, BJP had scored 1, 00,721 votes while in this election only 39,143 voted for it. So losing out 62,578 votes in just couple of months is surely and should be a matter of major concern.
Though Shiv Sena also lost some of its vote base but still it was successful to double its tally in comparison to last Civic elections. Definitely the lost votes of BJP benefited NCP in retaining its power and Sena to improve its tally. Also the Congress was able to increase slightly its vote share though its tally went down by 3.
At last what I feel is, now it has become an established fact that BJP can fare well only against Congress but it still has a long way to go when it is about fighting with regional parties. I mean in a direct fight with Congress, BJP has definitely an edge but to wrestle with regional parties it has to chalk out its strategy seriously.
Navi Mumbai was never a BJP's forte. So from just one in last civic elections to 6 seats in these recently concluded elections is also not bad. I wish they work for the betterment of the satellite city and win their confidence. But had it gone alone, I think there would have been better numbers with BJP.