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Omicron Backlash: MVA Mulls Postponing BMC Elections To April/May

The third wave (Omicron) has turned politically providential for the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra that is actively considering deferment of scheduled local self-body elections including the big stakes Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai. The MVA is beleaguered after the SC ordered the elections, re-designating 27% of allocated OBC seats in the general category. Faced with a political backlash from the unrepresented backward castes, MVA is actively considering postponement of polls to April/May 2022, giving it ample time to complete the ongoing fresh OBC census. A Shiv Sena minister’s aide told, “Omicron is spreading faster. We are considering postponement of elections to BMC and other local bodies scheduled in February 2022.” In the previous elections to BMC in 2017, the richest civic body in India, saw the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena fighting tooth and nail against each other, and winning 83 and 85 seats respectively. Post elections, BJP withdrew from its natural claim to be leader of opposition post in the civic body, which then went to the Congress party. This time though, there is no state alliance between the two parties and no love lost either. While NCP and Sena announced joint plans to contest BMC elections, the Congress is yet to make up its mind.