Following its victory in the Mira-Bhayander civic polls, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday gave credit to the government’s development plank for successive electoral victories in the municipal corporations, zilla parishads and municipal councils across Maharashtra. “The Mira-Bhayander victory is the trust people have reposed in development works of the government. It is a mandate for vikas and vishwas. My government is committed to fulfill the aspirations of people by expediting the development projects,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. He also attributed the success in the satellite town to team work.
The victory in Mira-Bhayander has established the ruling BJP as a leading political force in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) encompassing nine civic bodies including Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Panvel, Ulhasnagar, Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Thane and Vasai-Virar. The party has edged out the political dominance of the Shiv Sena, which is left with a majority in only Thane.
Apart from Mira-Bhayander, BJP has majority in Panvel and Ulhasnagar (along with a local party). The BJP, in alliance with the Sena, is in power in Kalyan-Dombivali and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. However, the Shiv Sena had supported the Congress in Navi Mumbai. In Vasai Virar the leading party is the Bahujan Vikas Party. The BJP, which is planning to contest the assembly elections alone in 2019, believes the consolidation of party in the MMR would help them in the assembly elections.
BJP political managers said, “If we look at all the elections held in the last 34 months in zilla parishads and municipal corporations across Maharashtra, Fadnavis has struck to the development plank. The paradigm shift in politics has helped the BJP to connect to the generation next voters giving the party huge leads.” “In Mira-Bhayander, two projects that turned the tide in favour of BJP was the Metro and Surya dam. It concerned drinking water and transport issues, most crucial for people in the township,” said the party’s political managers.
Another significant point cited was that the development plank has helped the party in new-age social engineering to get people across caste, community and religion to its fold. The 60 seats would not have been possible without the support of Christians, the party believes. So far, the BJP has in its kitty almost all major civic bodies including Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Nashik, Akola, Amravati, and Nagpur. In elections to zilla parishads too, the BJP tally reveals a threefold increase.