Following the high-pitched rallies addressed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, the 95-member Mira Bhayander civic body will go to polls on Sunday. The results would be declared on Monday.
In 2012, the total polling percentage was 46.99. Political parties are hoping that the percentage will go up this time due to the close contest and high use of social media, apart from the door-to-door campaigning, chowk sabhas, rallies and road shows that were organised by the parties.
For the civic polls, the BJP brought in the senior ministers, leaders from the state and Centre to Mumbai’s outskirts. The top leaders included Fadnavis, Union minister of state Manoj Sinha, Purushottam Rupala, Delhi BJP state president, MP Manoj Tiwari and Mumbai MP Kirit Somaiya.
While Thackeray addressed a rally, Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray carried out a road show in town. Congress state president and MP Ashok Chavan also campaigned for party candidates.
However, the issues raised by the political parties have remained almost the same as the last polling season in 2012. The civic issues highlighted by the parties are metro line up to Bhayander, 24X7 water supply, police commissionarate and tehsil office for the satellite town and a cricket stadium among others.
The parties also focused on good governance and transparency.
While the BJP has promised to turn the satellite town to a “smart city”, the Sena has promised to waive property tax of flats up to 500 sq ft and implementing a cluster development scheme.
The BJP, Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are contesting the polls separately. Since the Congress has won one seat unopposed, polls for 94 seats will be held on August 20. The Congress bagged the seat after the returning officer rejected the nominations of BJP and Sena candidates due to caste certificate issues. Approximately 104 independent candidates are contesting this time.
The BJP has fielded candidates in 90 seats while four seats have been given to Ramdas Athawale-led Republican Party of India. The Sena has fielded candidates in all seats, the Congress in 75 and the NCP in 67.
Both parties, the BJP and Sena, claimed that they will get majority in the civic body.
“We have carried out a lot of development work in the past two-and-a-half years, much more compared to the previous 25 years. During our campaign, we focused on transparency and development. So, we will get a majority easily and we may win 60-65 seats,” said Naredndra Mehta, local BJP legislator.
Pratap Sarnaik, the Sena legislator from Thane and the in-charge of Mira Bhyander, said: “We have constantly raised the issues of the city’s development in the Assembly pertaining to water and metro. People have seen our work and we hope to get full majority. We expect to win between 45 and 54 seats.”