BJP’s bastion for BMC: North Mumbai – Part 1

The BMC 2022 elections are just 14 months away and all parties have started strategizing for these elections. Mumbai Congress’s newly appointed president is of the opinion that Congress should fight all 227 seats on it’s own and go for a post poll alliance if needed. The ruling party Sena has not opened it’s cards yet but they are grappling with the question of whether to go alone or together as MVA in these elections. There are approx. 9 big municipal corporations that go to the polls along with BMC. Whether the MVA will be formed selectively or across all cities is not yet decided.

BMC headquarters

The only party with clarity on this matter is the BJP. They know that they have to fight with ally RPI (Athavale) and they are ready to take on the might of the MVA. Now the MVA is not full strength in Mumbai as the Congress is a much weakened party and the NCP can be charitably called a marginal party. Also they face challenges from the AIMIM and MNS for key demographic vote banks. Hence it will be important to see the numbers of previous elections and understand the context. In this series, I will take a look at the Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat – one of the six LS seats in Mumbai.

Mumbai North Lok sabha seat has been a BJP stronghold for decades now despite having the lost the seat marginally in 2004 and 2009. This LS seat has six assembly segments and accounts for 42 out of the 227 wards in the BMC (or MCGM as it is not called). The current party strengths in BMC (2017 election) from this area are as follows,

Assembly SegmentBJPSenaCongNCPMNSOthers
Dahisar (6)330000
Borivali (7)511000
Magathane (7)160000
Charkop (7)511000
Kandivali East (8)701000
Malad West (7)313000
BMC election 2017 party wise strength in Mumbai North

Mumbai North has 19% of the total electoral wards in the BMC. Let us compare the voting details on these seats across the previous few elections starting with Dahisar and Borivali assembly seat,

Voting details for Dahisar Assembly

Dahisar Assembly seatBJPSenaCongNCPMNSOthersTotal / Polled Votes
2014 Lok Sabha election113602035863009054306580/
2014 Assembly election772383866021889995174391764316596/
2017 BMC election546944740312323204653587311214166/
2019 Lok Sabha election115223035804005345250653/
2019 Assembly election876070236900170522483250617/
Voting details for Dahisar assembly segment

Voting details for Borivali assembly

Borivali assembly seatBJPSenaCongNCPMNSOthersTotal
2014 Lok Sabha election141640028409008137314249/
2014 Assembly election10827829011149931190217651683327938/
2017 BMC election8380245945298013651112556844295355/
2019 Lok Sabha election152611034044006540291750/
2019 Assembly election123712028691003556291748/
Voting details for Borivali assembly segment

Following observations can be made from the above voting details and results,

  1. The voters list has been rectified after the 2014 assembly election. This explains the reduction of over a lakh votes in Dahisar and 32,000 in Borivali in 2017.
  2. The hotly contested elections have seen high voting percentages. The Lok Sabha elections of 2014 and 2019 saw heavy voting due to being a “Modi election”. The 2014 assembly election and the 2017 BMC election saw heavy voting due to the tough contest and verbal duels between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Contrast that with the 2019 assembly election which was a no contest as Congress was not strong enough to fight the BJP-Sena alliance, and hence the voting saw a 9-10% decrease as compared to the Lok sabha 2019 election.
  3. Congress gets a fair number of anti Sena vote (mostly Hindi and Gujarati bhashik voters) when the BJP and Sena fight in alliance. This vote would be much reduced in 2022 BMC election due to the MVA alliance in the state. This vote will be transferred to the BJP.
  4. MNS is losing it’s strength on these two seats, but Sena joining hands with the Congress in the state (even if not in the BMC 2022 election) will help it gain some of the Sena’s Hindutva vote.
  5. BJP has a chance to gain one ward each in Dahisar and Borivali with proper candidate selection. Though it is difficult to predict ward reservation (lottery system decides which wards are reserved for general category women, OBC and SC women etc.) remember these two names, Ram Yadav and Shivanand Shetty from the BJP camp.
  6. BJP should go for aggressive voter registration in wards where the sum of the MVA parties was more than the BJP. Though 100% vote transfer won’t happen even if MVA fights in alliance, it is always better to mobilize new voters to build a safety margin. Also BJP will need to enthuse it’s core voters to ensure 60% voting percentage in these assembly segments.
  7. BJP will gain a lot of Hindi bhashik voters especially in Dahisar and Borivali (E) purely due to the emergence of Modi at the national level and Yogi in Uttar Pradesh (UP). A near consolidation of Gujarati and Hindi bhashik voters will help the BJP a lot in these two assembly segments. BJP also has a loyal Marathi bhashik voters in these areas, especially in middle class and upper middle class areas.
  8. In case the Sena and Congress fight seperately and go in for a tactical alliance, the BJP might gain 3-4 more wards over their 2017 tally of 24 wards.

The voting percentages speak a lot about what BJP needs to do to win 28-30 wards in Mumbai North area alone, in it’s quest to get a single handed majority (114 wards) in the BMC. This region can help BJP win a quarter of the seats needed to get a majority. Going forward, would do the analysis for the other four assembly seats of Mumbai North.

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