Mumbai: The fate of two Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC candidates, who were locked in a tie when the votes were counted on Thursday, was decided by a five-year-old girl in southern Mumbai's Girgaum.
BJP's Atul Shah and Shiv Sena's Surendra Bagalkar polled equal number of votes - 5,496- in BMC's ward number 220. The votes were counted thrice, according to the election officials, to check if there was any discrepancy but the number of votes was just same. To decide the winner, as per the rule, lottery system was adopted and five-year-old Yashika Salunke was asked to randomly pick one of the chits drawn to decide the winner - the luck favoured BJP's Atul Shah.
In a nail biting finish, the Shiv Sena emerged as numbe1in the BMC polls with 84 seats and with BJP next with 82. The BJP also won eight out of the nine other major Maharashtra municipalities where elections were held this week. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, 41, of the BJP - who led from the front - was the big winner.
None of the parties are close to majority or halfway of the 227-seat BMC - 114. Even if all the five Independents back one of the parties, the Sena and the BJP will be short of the magic number. One Independent corporator Snehal More announced today that she is "number 85" in the Sena.
Amid all the possibilities, there is talk of the halfway mark coming down if the Congress, which is down to 32 seats this time, decides to abstain and vote for neither in case of contest between the BJP and Shiv Sena for the post of Mayor.
The BJP contested the BMC elections on its own this time after the Shiv Sena announced an end to their two-decade old partnership over "seat-sharing".
(with inputs from PTI)