Now, big BJP is brother and Devendra big boss

Sena wins 84, BJP leaps with 82 seats in BMC polls.

Mumbai: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has risen as the numero uno in state politics. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won eight out of 10 civic bodies that went to polls and has taken a quantum leap in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Council elections. Thursday’s results has made it clear that the party has gained ascendancy in rural Maharashtra, which was a bastion of opposition parties Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

These elections was Mr Fadnavis’ first real test since he became chief minister in 2014. Back then, his appointment was attributed to his being the blue-eyed boy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a hardcore RSS swayamsevak. His detractors also said Mr Fadnavis got the top job in the state despite lacking any ministerial experience. Therefore, Mr Fadnavis had to prove his mettle in these elections to shut up his opponents within and outside the party.

Mr Fadnavis, the party’s only face for local body elections, covered the whole state in 15 days, addressing six to seven rallies per day.

He visited every district and city that was going to the polls. In all, he addressed 60 rallies, which is the second highest in number after NCP’s Dhananjay Munde’s record. Out of these 60, Mr Fadnavis addressed 12 rallies in Mumbai alone. Using transparency as a main campaign plank, Mr Fadnavis also made controversial decisions by allowing history-sheeters and goons in his party at Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nashik. He was heavily criticised for opening the door to many controversial NCP leaders. But now all this is water under the bridge.

These results came a day after Mr Fadnavis completed 25 years in public life. In 1992, he took oath in the Nagpur Municipal Council as a corporator at the tender age of 21. In 1997, Mr Fadnavis when became the mayor of Nagpur he was the youngest official to hold such a post and in just two years he became MLA from Nagpur city. Mr Fadnavis, who then graduated from party secretary to state president in 2013, took oath as chief minister at the age of 44 on October 31 2014.

Speaking about Mr Fadnavis’ meteoric rise, political analyst Suhas Palashikar said, “He has definitely consolidated his position within the party and state. Now he can present this success as his personal one within his party.”

Reacting to the people's mandate, Mr Fadnavis said on Thursday, “This victory is proof of people's support to our government's policies. I always give credit to our team. It is proof of people's support to Modiji and his policies.”

Next Story