Why Delimitation Of Civic Wards In Mumbai Ahead Of BMC Polls Is Likely To Benefit Shiv Sena

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the delimitation exercise that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has conducted ahead of the Mumbai civic polls, proposing to increase the number of seats by nine, is likely to be advantageous to the ruling Shiv Sena.

The state Election Commission last week accepted the draft proposal of the delimitation that revises ward boundaries and adds nine seats.

In all, there are 227 seats in the BMC’s 24 wards. After the delimitation, it has increased to 236. Civic polls in Mumbai are to take place in late March or early April.

The delimitation will affect 12 administrative wards where seats have been added, restructured and boundaries redrawn.

In five of these, the Shiv Sena has the highest number of councillors, an analysis of the 2017 election results by ThePrint has shown.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is clearly strong in at least two of the wards, while in at least three more the Shiv Sena and the BJP are in tough competition with each other.

ThePrint’s analysis is indicative because it does not take into account the individual councillor ward boundaries within these administrative wards, and looks at the overall dominance of parties in the ward. Moreover, the new boundaries are themselves not finalised. The number of votes that a particular party might get depends on the population share of a particular ward, and that is liable to change once the boundaries are finalised.

The administrative wards that can be affected by the delimitation are R-North, R-Central, R-South, H-East, L, G-South, F-South, M-East, M-West, K-East, B and E, which fall in the areas Worli, Byculla, Parel, Andheri, Bandra, Dahisar, Chembur, Kurla and Mankhurd.

The Sena is strong in R-North, H-East, L, G-South and F-South. In R-Central and R-South, the BJP has a clear advantage. The wards in which the Sena and the BJP are in a tough fight are K-East, M-West and E.

In each of the three geographic regions of Mumbai — island city, eastern suburbs and western suburbs — across which the 12 municipal wards lie, three extra seats have been added.

Why delimitation is being doneshiv

After Census data was published in 1991, BMC seats were increased to 221 from 170 on the basis of the increased population. The number of BMC seats was again increased to 227 following the 2001 Census.

According to the 2011 Census, Mumbai’s population is 1.24 crore, but after its publication, no delimitation was done.

The 2021 Census exercise has been disrupted due to the Covid pandemic.

According to the BMC, the population in the abovementioned areas has gone up and, to provide better service, it is necessary to delimit these wards.

Currently, in the 227-member BMC, the Shiv Sena has 97 councillors, the BJP 82, the Congress 29, the Nationalist Congress Party 8, and the Samajwadi Party, 6 councillors.

The boundaries of the wards have still not been finalised and, for the next 14 days, the BMC will receive suggestions and objections to the delimitation from citizens, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said.

Booth-level coordination vs ground-level work

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said “the origin of this delimitation is due to fear in the Shiv Sena’s mind”.

“They wanted to enhance their numbers with their strategy. They did not do it for the entire city but only a few wards,” he added.

He further said the BJP is confident about winning because of their strong booth-level coordination.

The Shiv Sena, however, hit back, saying that the BJP did the same in 2016 to improve their chances.

“It is not that we will benefit because of the delimitation, it depends on our ground-level work. The BJP is only accusing us because they did the same in 2016 and hence they can only think in that direction,” Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar told ThePrint. “So, whatever the final delimitation is, we will face it, our candidates will face it,” she added.

The Congress, meanwhile, welcomed the step.

“We are studying the restructuring. In many places, there was an imbalance of the population and now they seemed to have balanced it. The candidates will now be able to give proper attention to the ward, as population in some wards was about a lakh or even over it. Now, it has been brought to 50,000,” said Ravi Raja, Congress councillor in the BMC.

He added that in the eastern suburbs and island city regions, the Congress will benefit. “The restructuring is such that the Congress and the Shiv Sena can benefit out of this,” he said.


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Ritu Singh seasoned news hunter with ink in veins and truth as a compass. Cuts through spin, exposes hidden agendas, decodes power plays. Unwavering voice for accountability, amplifying unheard stories. A watchdog who sleeps with one eye open, keeping democracy on its toes

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