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Jubilance and disappointment after Maharashtra civic polls results

Friday February 17, 2012 10:31:04 PM, IANS

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Mumbai: There was jubilance, disappointment and confidence in different political camps as the results of elecctions to the 10 municipal corporations in Maharashtra were declared here Friday.

While there were long faces in the Congress and disappointment in the Republican Party of India, there was jubilance in the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party camps.

On the other hand, there was absolute confidence in the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena camp, which has now set its eyes on the state assembly elections of 2014.

Giving the full credit for the party's performance to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, a relaxed Uddhav Thackeray said the mood was celebratory in the party.

"I don't want to comment on who said what, I want to celebrate... We have done it again, we have won..." Uddhav told media persons outside the Shiv Sena Bhavan where he was engulfed by jubilant partymen.

"Earlier, they (Congress-NCP) used to contest separately, this time they were in alliance, yet we have won," Uddhav said on the party's fourth consecutive win over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the country's richest and biggest civic body.

He declined to comment on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's predictions that the Shiv Sena would be wiped out after the 2012 civic polls.

"We shall not let down the people of Mumbai for their faith in us... We shall transform Mumbai," he assured.

Admitting that he was "dissatisfied" with his party's performance, RPI chief Ramdas Athawale sought to console himself by claiming that the people have accepted the Grand Alliance of 'Shiv Shakti-Bhim Shakti' which succeeded in keeping the Congress-NCP out of power in some of the important municipal corporations.

"We have worked very hard for this. We convinced the Ambedkarites to vote for our Grand Alliance as we believed in 90 percent performance and 10 percent politics, and people have reposed their faith in us," Athawale said shortly after the results.

He promised to conduct an introspection on why RPI candidates failed to perform as per expectations and rectify mistakes, besides reviewing the support extended by the SS-BJP to RPI candidates.

In contrast, a beaming and smiling Raj Thackeray expressed satisfaction over the six-year old MNS's performance in Mumbai, Pune and other cities, especially Nashik where it has bagged the civic body.

However, he kept his cards close to the chest when asked whether his party would support the SS-BJP in the crucial mayoral elections

"We have not yet decided on that stage, we will consider it later," he told media-persons.

Asked about the MNS's future role, Raj smilingly remarked: "You made me a kingmaker, but I wanted to be the king..."

On his party's limited impact in certain pockets in the state, Raj said that everything cannot be done simultaneously. "We shall go step by step, and emerge stronger soon," he said hinting at a major role for MNS in 2014.

Raj also said he would analyse the results at a micro-level and if needed, make organizational changes to ensure mistakes are not repeated.

Mumbai Congress President Kripa Shankar Singh, in a terse statement this evening glumly accepted "the peoples' verdict" in the civic polls.

"The Congress-NCP was expected to score a victory, but people have thought otherwise," Singh said. He assured that the Congress would play the role of a constructive opposition, serve the people and aim to make Mumbai a world-class city.











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