BMC elections 2017: Why Congress has cause for worry

As per the data, between them, the bickering saffron allies accounted for 55 per cent of all votes polled.

Written by Vishwas Waghmode , Sandeep A Ashar | Mumbai | Updated: February 25, 2017 4:35 am
mumbai-759 A day after its debacle in the BMC polls, Congress workers at the office of senior leader Gurudas Kamat, who had publicly criticised city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam. Ganesh Shirsekar

Not just the number of seats, even the vote share in the Mumbai civic polls indicates that the Shiv Sena and the BJP are well ahead of the Congress in the commercial capital. The data released by the civic election department officials on Friday, a day after the results were announced, showed that one in two voters had cast their vote either in favour of the Sena or the BJP. As per the data, between them, the bickering saffron allies accounted for 55 per cent of all votes polled. The Shiv Sena’s share of votes was 28.29 per cent, which translated into 14,43,969 votes. The BJP’s vote share was 27.28 per cent or 13,92,676 votes. The Congress, on the other hand, ended up with a vote share of 15.93 pc , or 8,13,177 votes.

A hig- voltage poll battle had resulted in a near 11 per cent increase in polling in comparison with the 2012 civic election. In all, 51,03,913 voters cast their vote this time around. Overcoming the anti-incumbency factor, the Shiv Sena enhanced its vote share from 17.34 pc in 2012 to 28.29 pc this time. It added another 4.38 lakh votes to its tally this time. The vote gain saw the party’s tally rise from 75 the last time to 84 this time around.

 

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But just like the number of seats, it was the BJP who took giant strides in voting numbers. The party’s vote share was a meagre 6.78 per cent in 2012, when it had fought in an alliance with the Shiv Sena. The massive jump in the voter number saw the party pick up 82 seats this time. In 2012, it’s tally was just 30 seats.

In contrast, the Congress, which had polled 9,57,711 votes in 2012, managed just 8,13,177 votes this time around.

While the dip in vote share was just 0.32 percentage points — from 16.28 in 2012 to 15.93 in 2017 —this led to the party dropping 21 seats.

As anticipated, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was a big loser even in the vote share race. The MNS’s vote share declined from 15.89 pc the last time to just 7.73 pc this time. The Nationalist Congress Party fared even worse, securing barely 4.85 per cent of all votes. Incidentally, the election data also revealed that 87,719 voters had exercise the NOTA option.

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