DEVENDRA Fadnavis Is Man Of the Match After BJP Wins Emphatically in Maharashtra

February 25th, 2017 | by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty

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THE ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s emphatic victory in the just concluded civic bodies’ elections in Maharashtra one a half years after it formed government in the western state has stunned its opposition parties as well the vocal critics for its various policies and programs.BJP contesting minus Shiv Sena, which was its face for years, has won eight out of 10 civic bodies that went to polls and has taken a quantum leap in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council elections. The results have made it clear that the party has captured rural Maharashtra, which was a bastion of Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)  besides the urban areas.These elections have undoubtedly capitulated Nagpur born  46  years year old CM Devendra Fadnavis to the position of numbero Uno as  shrewd political strategist in the state. The elections were his first real test since he became Chief Minister in 2014. His appointment was attributed to his being the blue-eyed boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a hardcore RSS Swayamsevak.The lightweight from Vidarbha region has established himself as a pan Maharashtra leader acceptable to all sections of people.

Fadnavis has proved his mettle in these elections to silence his opponents within and outside the party who were critical of him saying he lacked administrative experience and capability.

He was the party’s only face for the local body elections, covered the entire in 15 days addressing six to seven rallies per day. He visited all the districts where the elections were held and addressed as many as 60 rallies. Fadnavis addressed 12 rallies in Mumbai alone. Transparency was his main campaign plank.He courted criticism for inducting history-sheeters and alleged goons in his party at Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nasik besides opening the door to many controversial NCP leaders. The election  results incidentally have come a day after Fadnavis completed 25 years in public life. In 1992, he took oath in the Nagpur Municipal Council as a comparator at the age of 21. In 1997, Fadnavis became the youngest ever Mayor of Nagpur and two years later he became MLA from Nagpur city.

Shiv Sena supremo  Uddhav Thackeray has succeeded in  making his party  as the single largest outfit in the BMC, the country’s richest civic body, contesting the elections minus the BJP.But he will have to pass another test for retaining the BMC. The BJP reportedly is busy wooing independent candidates to prove its majority. After the death of Sena’s founding chief Bal Thackeray in 2012, Uddhav Thackeray gained complete control of the party. Questions were raised as to Thackeray leadership, since he is softer than his father. However,he  was successful  in the Assembly polls with 63 MLAs, as BJP had snapped ties at the last minute. Despite the Modi wave, Thackeray got MLAs elected to prove his leadership skills.

The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got its biggest blow at the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) elections on Thursday. The PCMC has always been Mr Pawar’s nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s stronghold but the Bharatiya Janta Party, literally, demolished his long-built bastion.  On Thursday, the BJP won 77 out of the total 128 seats while the NCP won only 36 seats in PCMC polls. In the Pune municipal corporation, out of the total 162 seats, the BJP won 98 and the NCP got only 38.  The 2017 civic polls were crucial for Mr Pawar, especially after the BJP had received mammoth support from voters in the 2014 general and assembly elections. The BJP had won all assembly seats from Pune in 2014. It had also won four out of the seven seats in PCMC. For the past two years, the BJP successfully poached NCP strongmen and close confidante of Mr Pawar. The BJP managed to bring two affiliated MLAs and almost 20 compotators to its fold After the civic body elections,BJP has emerged as the number one part in the state replacing Shiv Sena, NCP as well as the Congress.

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