BMC Elections analysis: How independents played spoilsport

In more than 30 seats, unaffiliated candidates came second, playing a major spoiler to the Shiv Sena and the BJP's hopes of attaining majority

Experts feel that the vote split has hurt Shiv Sena more than BJP. Representation Pic
Experts feel that the vote split has hurt Shiv Sena more than BJP. Representation Pic

Both the saffron parties — the Shiv Sena and the BJP — performed way beyond their expectations in the elections for Asia's richest civic body and ended up with near 70 per cent of the total electoral seats between them. However, their joy was short-lived as the near equal split made the magic number of 114 even more elusive. And what has proved to be a bigger spoilsport are the independent candidates, who can now play kingmaker and turn the tide in anybody's favour.

Data analysis of the vote's bifurcation reveals that for nearly 30 seats, independent candidates have stood second in the vote tally. Moreover, close to 10 seats have independent candidates in the third place by getting more than 2,000 votes. At the corporation level elections, 2,000 votes could prove decisive.

Experts feel that this has hurt the Sena more than BJP. A political observer said, "In BMC elections, if any independent candidate is getting more than 2,000 votes or ending up second in the tally, then it indirectly damages big parties calculations."

He added, "Also, in many cases, rebels were contesting elections, which means, they managed to draw some voters away that would otherwise have gone to the party."

Consider ward number 1 (Ganpat Patil Nagar, Dahisar), where Shiv Sena candidate Tejswavi Ghosalkar won the election and got 4,913 votes. However, the candidate with the second largest tally was an independent with 3,583 votes, relegating Sheetal Mhatre to third position. It was a similar case in ward number 149 (Tilak Number, Chembur), where BJP candidate Sushma Sawant got 5,927 votes while the independent candidate managed to garner 3,888 votes and the second spot.

Independents who won

  • Tulshiram Shinde: Ward no. 41 (Jogeshwari)
  • Snehal More: Ward no. 123 (Vikroli)
  • Changez Multani: Ward no. 67 (Andheri)
  • Mumtaz Rahbar Khan: Ward no. 102 (Bandra)
  • Kiran Landge: Ward no. 160 (Ghatkopar)

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