BJP wins Bhandup bypoll by a margin of 4,792 votes

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday narrowed its seat tally with the Shiv Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation with party candidate Jagruti Patil winning the Bhandup bypoll (Ward No.116).

Ms. Patil polled 11,129 votes to Sena nominee Minakshi Patil’s 6,337 votes: a victory margin of 4,792 votes. Congress candidate Pramila Singh came a distant third. The bypoll was held as the seat had become vacant following the death of Congress corporator Pramila Patil on April 25.

With the victory, the BJP’s tally in the 227-member BMC has risen to 83; the Sena’s strength remains at 84. While the Sena has claimed the support of four other corporators, the BJP has claimed the support of two.

The caste certificate of Changez Multani, an independent who extended support to the Sena, is under dispute, but it won’t affect the Sena’s tally as party candidate Raju Pedanekar emerged second in the polls at Ward No. 62.

A BMC official said the seat left vacant in Ward No. 21 following the death of BJP corporator Shailaja Girkar last month is still technically counted as belonging to the BJP as a bypoll has not yet been held.

The results have re-ignited the war of words between both parties. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said on Thursday that the Shiv Sena should shed its arrogance. Mr. Somaiya said, “If the Shiv Sena does not get rid of its arrogance, they will be reduced to 83 seats and BJP will have 84 seats in the BMC.”

Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar said the Bhandup bypoll result has shown the “hollowness of big claims made by some people”.