The Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been long-term partners at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), but this year the two former allies broke up giving a much-needed relief to the Congress and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to fight back in the polls.
The two parties are highly depending on voters who disowned the Shiv Sena and the BJP after the public spat which led to the breaking of the alliance. Congress who was undercover in Mumbai after their defeat in Loksabha Election came to light suddenly during the BMC elections, thanking the Shiv Sena and BJP for giving them a fresh topic to campaign against them.
The split of the alliance could have meant well for the Congress but Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam a few days back took a jibe on his own party leaders claiming that they betrayed him and didn’t campaign for the Congress. Nirupam has been openly saying that the Sena-BJP breakup could have helped the Congress.
However, the supporters of Congress leader and former MP Gurudas Kamat have been openly speaking against Sanjay Nirupam which might have hurt the party. The fact that Congress has been going ahead in over 14 seats may be credited to the BJP-Shiv Sena fallout despite them having campaigned way less that the other parties.
The Congress and NCP, who were earlier in an alliance, are contesting the elections independently hence their votes have also been divided. This holds true especially for the Muslim voters who were undecided over who to support. These votes which were in the past bagged by the Congress are now likely to go in favour of the AIMIM.
Congress, which has been hitting out at the BJP and the Congress over corruption issues, also has not been able to project a clean image for itself.
Though Congress may be able to win a few seats in the BMC, the main fight will be between the two former alliance partners, the BJP and the Shiv Sena, and clearly the latter is on the front foot.