Mumbai: A thumping win in the Bhandup by-poll has proved to be yet another shot in the arm for the buoyant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as it is now breathing down Shiv Sena’s neck to become the single largest party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
In the by-election held in Ward No. 116 in Bhandup, BJP candidate Jagruti Patil defeated Shiv Sena’s Minakshi Patil by a big margin of 4,792 votes. Jagruti polled 11,129 votes, whereas Minakshi received 6,337 votes.
The by-poll was necessitated due to death of Congress corporator Pramila Patil, who passed away due to heart attack on April 25.
Despite the fact that Minakshi is the wife of sitting Bhandup MLA Ashok Patil, Sena had to face an embarrassing defeat. BJP’s move of giving a ticket to Jagruti Patil, who is a daughter-in-law of deceased Pramila Patil, paid handsome dividends as she took the lead from the beginning and kept on improving it till the end.
With this victory, the BJP has improved its tally to 82 seats in the 227-member BMC house. There is another by-election in the offing due to the death of BJP corporator Shaijala Girkar, who had recently died due to a heart attack. She was elected from Ward No. 21 (R-central Ward), which consists of Charkop area. The Ward being a BJP stronghold, the party hopes to win it easily in the impending by-poll.
If it happens, Sena’s majority in the BMC house will be hanging by a thread as the gap between Sena and BJP will come down to only one seat. The equation will surely make Sena uneasy, as it is already having disputes with BJP over a lot of issues in civic body.
Sena with 84 corporators enjoys the support of three independents, whereas BJP now has 82 corporators with two indepedents on their side. Though the power equations are not likely to change immediately, it will surely have impact on the statutory committee elections next year and mayor election to be held couple of years later, said civic sources.
Elated with the win, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar made a teasing tweet saying, “Guess what new excuse our frenemies will offer Mumbaikars for this election defeat? The list is long…Truth is easier, but bitter!”