Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Thursday emerged as the single largest party in the cash-rich BMC winning 84 seats, closely followed by BJP which bagged 80 seats, as results for the 225 seats poured in.
Congress was relegated to the third position in the civic body tally with 31 seats followed by NCP with 9 seats. MNS won 7 seats, AIMIM-3, SP-6, Akhil Bhartiya Sena-1 and others-4.
However, the results for two seats in the 227-member House are still awaited.
The Congress and the NCP were headed for a rout across the state including some of their strongholds like Pune.
While the Shiv Sena slightly improved showing in Mumbai and Thane, the BJP is set to retain Nagpur, Akola and wrest Pune and Ulhasnagar from NCP and Nashik from the MNS.
But, as the counting progressed into final rounds, it appears that the Sena is unlikely to touch the half-way mark of 114 seats in Mumbai, where the BJP is poised for a big leap after fighting the polls on its own.
The BJP is likely to come to power in at least six civic bodies --Pune, Nashik, Ulhasnagar, Akola, Nagpur and Amravati-- out of the 10 corporations for which the elections were held on Tuesday.
Apart from Mumbai, the city corporations which went to polls were Thane, Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.
In Pune, the BJP is leading on 85 out of the total 152 seats, in Ulhasnagar on 33 (78 total seats), Nashik-55 (122), Nagpur-86 (145), Amaravati-36 (87) and Akola-48 (73).
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena consolidated 84 seats in the 227-member BMC, while BJP is ahead on 82.
In the 131-member Thane civic body, the Sena has so far won 60 seats, BJP-21, Congress 3, while the MNS won 0 seats.
Though the BJP made major inroads in the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and neighbouring Thane, it is not sure if Sena will be ready for a post-poll pact, after a no-holds-barred fight between the allies, which often turned a murky slugfest.
The party is also doing well in the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, as per the latest trends.
NCP, in the power here in Pune since 2007, is trailing behind the saffron party.
In Pune's neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, the BJP has dented the NCP by winning 66 seats.
The BJP appears to have expanded its base in Pimpri Chinchwad, despite fierce competition from the NCP.
The results of 10 municipal corporations in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, have seen the Congress plummeting to a new low with the lowest ever tally in the BMC and losing Solapur and Amravati to the BJP.
Prior to this election, the Sena-ruled Mumbai and Thane in alliance with BJP, MNS had Nashik, BJP had Nagpur, Akola, the NCP had Pimpri-Chichwad, Pune and Ulhasnagar, while the Congress was in power in Solapur and Amravati.
The BJP had also put up a splendid performance in municipal and nagar panchayat elections held across the state in November-January, an outcome hailed by the party leaders as endorsement of the demonetisation and other key policies of the governments at the Centre and in the state.
In 2012, the NCP had won 265 seats across these 10 municipal corporations, while the Congress had won 264 seats.
The Shiv Sena had won 227 seats while BJP had won 205 seats. The BJP also improved its performance in rural areas, traditionally dominated by the Congress and the NCP.
The BJP is likely to win the zilla parishad polls in Latur in Marathwada, where it is leading on 30 out of the total 58 seats and is also spreading its base in Buldhana, Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.
In the zilla parishad polls in Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri districts, people have largely voted for Shiv Sena, as per the early trends.
In 2012 zilla parishad elections, Congress had emerged as the single largest party in Amravati, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Kolhapur Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad, Sindhudurg and Yavatmal.
The NCP was the single largest party in Ahmednagar, Beed, Jalna, Nashik, Parbhani, Pune, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Satara and Solapur.
The BJP was the leading party in Jalgaon and Wardha, while the Sena in Aurangabad and Hingoli in 2012....