The Delhi state assembly results finds reaction among the rank and file in the political parties of Navi Mumbai, particularly because the city is to go to the local body general elections in April 2020.
Here too it is expected to be a 2-cornered contest between the BJP and the MVA (Maha Vikas Aghadi), that constitutes the Shivsena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party. For the BJP ranks, the debacle in Delhi is certainly a dampener and demoralizing.
And for the MVA it raises hope and confidence that the Delhi pattern could apply to the NMMC polls and ensure a clean sweep for the united efforts of the MVA.
The campaign in Navi Mumbai by the BJP will ride the wave of Ganesh Naik’s (MLA) supremacy in the city combined with Manda Mhatre’s (MLA) leadership and election time promises, many of which have only been lip service through the last 4 general body elections in Navi Mumbai.
The MVA campaign will be based on the popularity of Rajan Vichare (Member of Parliament), leadership of MVA under Uddhav Thackeray of SS, Balasaheb Thorat of Congress and Ajit Pawar of NCP and mentoring of NCP chief Sharadchandra Pawar and of course election time promises that are more often made to be ignored after the polls.
While regional arithmetic, like the native agri – koli community and western Maharashtra community and the minority community cards will be in play in the local body elections, the alliances could also tilt the scales. Election promises are generally common and voters know them to be pipe-dreams.
With 38 sitting corporators, a prize catch of 4-5 seats through the recent defection of Suresh Kulkarni from the BJP to SS, more such defections on the anvil and the. alliance with Congress-NCP, the SS will be the senior alliance partner and could pose a formidable challenge to the Ganesh Naik led BJP.
The SS on its own could bag the majority seats in the 111- members house in the municipal corporation, if they are allocated at least 70 seats. The Congress with 7 sitting corporators should be happy to retain their present tally by contesting in about 15 seats. The NCP with just 2 sitting corporators will demand about 26 seats and hope to bag about 9 seats. Thus giving a clear majority to the MVA.
This apple-cart could be overturned if there is a break up of the alliance or strong rebellion within party ranks over seat sharing and seat allotment .
The BJP with 48 sitting corporators and 4 supporting independent corporators appears closer to the finishing majority line of 57, but the impact of the Delhi polls could cause more defections that could effect its poll prospects. There could also be aspiring rebels that could polarize the BJP votes, given the thaw in the Ganesh Naik and Manda Mhatre factions in the party.
The AAP party, that has little say in the city, is riding the Delhi wave and expressed the desire to contest in all 111 seats, which would be a very tall order to bag even 1 seat. Firstly the party does not have any credible leadership face in the city and secondly they have no real argument to offer against the core pitch of corruption that both the BJP and MVA factions in NMMC could be accused of.
The BJP led by Ganesh Naik and the SS led by Vijay Nahata could place the believable narratives of visible delivery on the ground on some counts, which the educated, cosmopolitan, aspirational electorate will gullibly lap up. For any other party to emerge in the city, they will have to prove their untarnished credentials of staying with and for the common citizens, that Arvind Kejriwal and his team are identified with.
Toxic and cynical poll campaigns will not do, hyper nationalistic pitch will not hold much conviction as the Delhi polls have indicated. Governance and the politics of work, real delivery, will prevail. Convincing on these premises alone will ferry the candidates on polling day to victory, going by the impact of the AAP victory.