Mumbai - The political circles of Mumbai, there always has been the monopoly of Shiv Sena for many years now. Be it the issue of Marathi Manus or the BMC, the Sena was always at the fore front. But these BMC elections have painted a different picture altogether. The lotus not only gave the Tiger a run for its money, but it also derailed the engine while waving off to the Congress. Now the big question will be, the Mayor of Mumbai will be from which party.
Generally the Mayor's post is a prestigious one and the Sena has had its monopoly for the last 25 years. But looking at the numbers, its seems that the fighting allies might just forge a workable partnership post the result.
Shiv Sena got an advantage of 7 seats as compared to the results of 2012 by bagging 84 seats. But the big leap came from the BJP as they amplified their tally to 82 from 31 seats which they won in 2012. In the BMC, all understand the tender lingo! So talking about percentages, BJP is the clear winner, as their stakes have sky rocketed.
There can be no two ways about the fact that the BJP has made inroads in the Sena bastion, and this is a political challenge to the Sena and its existence.
Seems that the heavyweights of the BJP have decided that they will not only push the Congress of the radar of Indian politics but will leave no stone unturned to swipe of the Sena, their one time regional ally. By winning most of the local bodies across Maharashtra, BJP has confined the Sena to Thane and Mumbai and have significantly reduced their bargaining power.
Sena President Uddhav Thackrey did roar post the results saying the the mayor as well as the future CM will be from the Sena, but it seems to be more to keep the party cadre morale high, as the equations for the Sena in the near future will be very complicated.
Before the elections, as the Sena-BJP alliance broke down, MNS chief Raj Thackery did try to salvage his presence by offering his brother a possible solution, but by tactfully staying away from a family reunion, Uddhav did play the masterstroke and avoided further embarassment for his party. But one thing is for sure, the lotus has certainly reduced the decibles of the Sena mouthpiece. The Sena ministers have been trying to up the pressure on the state government by blackmailing about stepping down, but incidently they have not shown this kind of bravado, making it clear to the public about their intentions.
IT is very much possible that if the Sena decides to step down from the state government and force mid term elections, a larger chunk of Sena ministers and MLA's might just defect and break down the party. Probably this is why Uddhav is tight-lipped about the future.
Like in football or hockey, you tighten your defence with man to man marking, you do the same in local body elections, but this time the Sena, MNS, congress targeted Narendra Modi and this seems to have not gone well with the public. Looks like demonetization and corruption didn't create any impact, at the same time BJP's "transparency" jibe worked well with the masses. The Sena posters cried out " We did it" but they could not justify their stake in the BMC's corruption, though the people seem to have given the benefit of doubt to the BJP which was an ally all through with the Sena.
All excuses given post result don't matter much, even as accepting the results also needs some sportsman spirit from all parties.
On the other hand, the other Thackery, Raj, was guilty of not making a positive move post the snub from the Sena, and his late entry into campaigning hurt their chances further. Making presentations about his development in Nasik did not impress the Mumbaikar as they found it as directionless as their office presentations. Just like his earlier Blue print, these presentations served no good and now the people may also be speculating about his charm waring off. Imitation is a form of flattery but Mumbaikar expected some original ideas from Raj.
There was a time when the entire city stood still at one roar from the original tiger, Balasaheb, but it seems that the Sena roar has lost its steam. Party cadre and the network of Shakas has kept the Sena alive, probably they need a ginger therapy for their soar roaring throat.