Mumbai (The Hindu): An internal survey conducted by the Shiv Sena in Mumbai ahead of the elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has predicted that the party will win 105 to 115 seats of the 227 up for grabs, if it decides to contest without entering into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The survey in the last week of December claims the party will single-handedly win majority in the BMC without any help from the BJP. Interestingly, the survey finds, the BJP will win between 70 and 80 seats if it contests independently. In the 2012 BMC polls, the Sena had won 75 seats while the BJP had won 31 seats. Both the parties had contested the elections as an alliance.
The survey predicts that there is no stopping the Sena-BJP victory march in Mumbai, which began with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in which the saffron alliance swept all six Lok Sabha seats in the city. Despite contesting the 2014 assembly polls independently, the parties won 29 seats out of 36, with Sena winning 14 and BJP, 15. The Congress had won five Assembly seats and one each went to Samajwadi Party and AIMIM.
The survey has also studied the possibility of both parties contesting the poll as an alliance. “BJP wants to contest 106 of 227 seats, which leaves us with 121. It’s no wonder that the tally of both parties will come down if that happens,” a Sena leader privy to the survey said.
In case of an alliance, the survey predicts 80 to 90 seats for the Sena, while the BJP is predicted to win 50 to 60 seats. The survey numbers essentially mean that an alliance would harm the Sena’s wish to win majority in the BMC single-handedly, bringing the civic body essentially to a position similar to that following 2012 civic poll results.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is predicted to be the biggest loser in the Sena survey, with the party being restricted to single digits, along with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
The Congress, which is yet to realign itself after the electoral losses in 2014, is predicted to win 30 to 40 seats if the saffron alliance breaks, and may come closer to its 2012 tally if the alliance holds.
“Contesting these elections as an alliance means a repeat of 2012, and no growth for us. The numbers will be presented to the leadership, which will take a final call on an alliance,” the Sena leader said.
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