The battle to control the country's richest municipal corporation came to a neck and neck end between the Shiv Sena and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), both of whom reached their best performance in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. While Sena emerged as a single largest party with 84 seats, BJP won 82 seats.
Now, it remains to be seen which party will claim majority as both have failed to touch the magic figure of 114. In this scenario, the Congress, with its 31 votes, could prove to be kingmaker. Parties like MNS and NCP, have only won seven and nine seats respectively. In 2012, Congress had won 52 seats, MNS 28 and NCP 13.
In 2012, Shiv Sena and BJP had contested BMC elections as an alliance. While Sena won 75 seats, BJP claimed victory on 31 seats. With the support of 15 independents, Sena-BJP had gained power in the civic body.
A political observer said, "Looking at the current scenario, the Congress may prove kingmaker since it has the exact number of seats needed to reach the majority. Sena has 84 seats and it needs 30 seats more to claim majority. BJP has similar chances of staking the claim since it has 82 seats."
The increase in the number of seats of Sena and BJP is a result of the rise in voting in Marathi and Gujarati heartlands. In Worli, Dadar, Parel and Prabhadevi, Sena won 13 out of 18 seats. In Kandivli, BJP won 11 of 13, and also got good support in Borivli and Ghatkopar. AIMIM opened its account in BMC by winning two seats. SP won six seats and four Independents claimed wins.