The ongoing elections in Mumbai for the Mumbai Civic Body, the BMC or the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, kicked off the civic body elections for the entire state of Maharashtra. With incumbent Shiv Sena lashing out at its on-again-off-again partner, the BJP, for its alleged misgovernance in the state and across the country, political observers and analysts have pegged the fight election as a fight between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Even today, Smita Thackeray, wife of Jaidev Thackeray, the late Bal Thackeray’s estranged son, lashed out against the BMC’s functioning, accusing it of corruption. The BMC is controlled by the Shiv Sena. Here are the top eight points about the election till the late afternoon.

CM Fadnavis with Uddhav Thackeray in happier times
  • The Shiv Sena canceled its 20-year old alliance with the BJP just before the elections were announced. Voting is also on for nine other municipalities besides Mumbai in Maharashtra today.  According to a report by NDTV, the BMC has an annual total budget of 37,000 crores, which exceed several comparable cities. The battle for the BMC is also being seen as a battle between Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief. CM Fadnavis has gone on record stating that he will take the blame if the BJP loses the Maharashtra Civic Polls 2017. Does the CM betray a sign of nervousness over the outcome of the polls?
  • Till 3 PM today, a mere 41.32 percent pf all the voters have turned out to cast their votes. This is a dismal record but not unusual for the Maximum City. An estimated 32 percent of the votes had been cast by 1.30PM on election day. The voting turnout may be a contentious topic for both the parties in the fray. Mumbai, incidentally, has a total electorate count of 9 million.
  • Nine other major civic bodies, including the ones in major cities like Nagpur, Nashik, Pune and Thane also go the polls today. The Maharashtra Civic Polls 2017 also includes 11 zilla parishads and 118 panchayat samitis. The Shiv Sena always had a major urban presence in the cities and will look to sweep the other civic bodies as well.
  • The NCP has not fielded any candidate for the BMC elections. Consequently, Sharad Pawar, who cast his vote today alongside many local celebrities, could not cast his vote for his own party candidate. Analysts have suggested that the NCP may prove to be the kingmaker in the Maharashtra Civic Poll 2017.
  • The BMC has a total of 227 seats. Out of the total, the Shiv Sena had won 75  last time; the BJP came in second with 31 seats, the Congress won 52 and the NCP 13. The election results of the Maharashtra Civic Polls will be counted on Thursday and declared on the same day.
  • Today, in an explosive charge, Smita Thackeray had lashed out against the BMC, accusing it of favouring nepotism and red-tapism. She is the sister-in-law of the MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who had broken away from the Shiv Sena. She was quoted by India Today as saying,”problems of pothole-ridden roads and corruption in BMC have remained unresolved.”
  • Senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam stated that he believed that the citizens of Mumbai should vote for the Congress because only the could provide real change. If voted to power, the Congress party would make Mumbai the grandest metropolis in the country. Nirupam also accused the BJP and the Shiv Sena of playing ‘dirty’ politics and that he would approach the EC after the polls, citing model code of conduct violation.
  • The BJP and the Shiv Sena have been at loggerheads ever since the BJP came to power at the centre in 2014. The smaller partner has repeatedly spoken out against the BJP and PM Modi, especially after demonetization last November. The Finance Ministry released a document recently stating that the BMC’s governance was above reproach, eliminating dissenting voices from the BJP. Uddhav Thackeray has stated that he will leave the BJP-led state and central governments after the Maharashtra Civic Polls 2017 end.
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