The results for the Maharashtra civic body polls — in Malegaon, Panvel and Bhiwandi — are starting to trickle in on Friday, May 26, and they are on expected lines, barring few. This entire belt is one where the BJP has not had much electoral success, but Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis — who survived a chopper crash a day ago — is looking to change that.
The counting for the elections, which took place on Wednesday, began early on Friday, with trends emerging by early afternoon after a few results were declared. The Congress and NCP seemed to have taken early leads in Malegaon and Bhiwandi. The BJP, meanwhile, was leading in the Panvel Municipal Corporation.
It may be noted that the BJP is looking to make a mark in these elections because it may want to part ways with the Shiv Sena, which has been threatening to tear asunder an alliance that brought the party to power in the 2014 Assembly elections.
To that end, the saffron party had fielded as many as 77 candidates in 84-seater Malegaon civic body, a record of sorts for the pary. What as even more surprising was that of those 77 candidates, 45 were Muslims. It may be noted that the BJP had managed to win a clear majority in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier this year without fielding even a single Muslim candidate.