Shiv Sena on Monday emerged as the single largest party in the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation after a bitterly fought election, bagging 52 seats but falling short of a majority in the 122-member body, the battle for which saw its ties with ally Bharatiya Janata Party plunge to a new low.
The BJP came second winning 42 seats in the civic body, practically an extension of the sprawling metropolis, sharply improving its earlier tally of nine. The Congress-NCP combine was relegated to the fourth position with six seats behind the Raj Thackeray-led MNS which bagged nine seats.
The keenly watched results left a question mark on the future alignments in the urban body, about which the leadership of the respective parties will be taking a call.
Despite being partners in the state government, the saffron parties snapped ties before the civic polls to the twin cities amid their never-ending slanging match over a host of issues.
Launching a veiled attack on the BJP, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party noted that while "entire Maharashtra cabinet" (including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis) had turned up to campaign for candidates of the NDA major, it is the Shiv Sena which managed to win people's confidence.
"Shiv Sena is Shiv Sena and no one can put it on back foot. Entire Maharashtra government (ministers) had turned up (for campaigning) in Kalyan-Dombivli. Still Sena has succeeded in winning people's confidence.
"This is Sena's bastion, it never relied on use of money and power. We humbly accept the result and those who have lost should introspect," senior Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said.
In the 81-ward Kolhapur Municipal Corporation in Western Maharashtra, Congress secured the maximum number of 27 seats, followed by NCP 15.
The Sena won 52 seats in the 122-member KDMC, according to the civic body's election office. The party, however, suffered a glaring loss in the defeat of Mayor Kalyani Patil at the hands of BJP's Suman Nikam.
While the BJP got 42 seats, MNS 9, Congress 4, NCP 2 and others 11 seats.
Out of 122 wards under KDMC, voting was conducted in 117 as two villages had boycotted the election and three villages elected candidates unopposed.
In Kolhapur, the Congress won the highest number of 27 seats, NCP got 15, the BJP-Tararani combine got 32 (BJP-12 and Tararani Front-20). The Sena managed to win only 4 seats, while others got 3 seats.
Congress leader and former state minister Satej Patil said his party would try to forge an alliance with the NCP to come to power in the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation.
NCP leader Hasan Mushrif said his party will talk to senior leaders, including party chief Sharad Pawar, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and ex-minister Sunil Tatkare, regarding joining hands with the Congress in the Kolhapur civic body.
Meanwhile, state Co-operation Minister and Kolhapur's Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil of BJP accepted the people's verdict and said his party will work as a constructive opposition.
He said BJP could have won at least 12 more seats by a little more efforts where it lost by 50-100 votes.
In the 2010 elections, the party wise break-up of seats won by various political parties in KDMC was -- BJP 9, NCP 14, Congress 15, Sena 31, MNS 27 and Independents 11.
The seats won by various parties in Kolhapur Municipal Corporation in the 2010 polls were -- BJP 3, NCP 25, Congress 31, Sena 4, other registered political parties with SECM 5 and Independents 9.
Photograph: Sahil Salvi