Why this Kolaveri Di over BMC polls? 4 things which make it the greatest

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Election to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) is being held with much fanfare today. The election has generated much heat as the ruling alliance partners Shiv Sena and BJP are contesting the BMC election separately for the first time ever in 19 years.

Though Shiv Sena and BJP are alliance partners in Maharashtra and at the Centre, they have parted ways for the BMC election after talks over seat distribution failed. There are other parties as well, such as Congress, Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Raj Thackeray’s MNS, but the focus is on the two principal contestants.

ALSO READ | BMC Election 2017: Shiv Sena-BJP fight it out in battle of prestige

But the cut-throat battle between Shiv Sena and BJP is not the only reason behind the hype over the BMC elections. There are several others:

1. COUNTRY’S RICHEST MUNICIPAL CORPORATION

The Mumbai metropolis accounts for a major portion of India’s international trade and government revenue. BMC is not just the richest municipal corporation in the country but it is richer than one of the other three major metros by ten times.

The scale of BMC’s richness can be gauged from the budget of the municipal corporations of Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

ALSO READ | BMC polls beyond BJP-Shiv Sena spat: 5 parties you did not hear about

Against BMC’s budget of Rs 37,052-crore for 2016-17, the budget allocation for the municipal corporations of Delhi was Rs 6,919 crore last year. It was Rs 5,123.51 crore for the Greater Chennai Corporation and Rs 3,793 crore for Kolkata Municipal Corporation for the same year.

2. OLDEST MUNICIPAL CORPORATION

Established in 1882, BMC is the country’s first municipal corporation. BMC’s official website says Bombay was the first British Indian possession. It came as a part of the royal dowry in 1661 to King Charles II of England on his marriage to the Portuguese princess, Infanta Catherine de Braganza. The name “Bombay” was changed to “Mumbai” by the Corporation Resolution No 512 dated August 12, 1996 of the Maharashtra Act.

The elected head of the corporation was called chairman from 1873 to 1887. It was changed to presidents between 1887 and 1931. Finally, from November 1931, the elected has been called the mayor.

Captain George F Henry was BMC’s first head (chairman) in 1873. He was succeeded by JA Forbes the next year. Dossabhoy Framji was the first Indian to be its chairman in 1876. During the turn of century in 1900-01, CT Burke was its president. Sunil W Prabhu is its mayor since March 9, 2012.

3. ONE OF THE LARGEST LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE ASIAN CONTINENT

During the period between the rise and fall of the British Empire, Bombay gradually developed into a town, a city and a metropolis of world renown. Today, the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika covers an area of 480.24 sq km with a population of 1.19 crore as per the census of 2001.

4. CELEBRITY QUOTIENT

Mumbai is not only the financial capital of the country but it is also famous because of Bollywood. Sportspersons, particularly cricketers, and politicians add to Mumbai’s celebrity status. Most of them also vote for the BMC polls, showing their interest in the civic affairs of the metropolis. From Bollywood stars such as Anushka Sharma, Tina Ambani, Rekha, Ranveer Singh to politicians like Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and others voted today.

ALSO READ | BMC polls beyond BJP-Shiv Sena spat: 5 parties you did not hear about

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