BJP's Thane president says party may contest TMC polls on its own

BJP's Thane president Sandeep Lele says it has nothing to lose if it goes solo; A Shiv Sena leader says if that happens the party will not get a majority

It was at the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation elections, that the BJP first started singing the going solo tune, now it seems to be doing this before the Thane Municipal Elections. The TMC goes to polls in 2017 along with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation. Sandeep Lele, Thane president of BJP, allegedly made statements of going alone in the TMC elections last week, however, he clarified that every party contests elections to increase its strength, whether it is in an alliance or going solo.

Also read: BJP hints at going alone in Thane civic body elections

Sandeep Lele and Naresh Mhaske
Sandeep Lele and Naresh Mhaske

People in the party are sure soon the same thing will happen in Mumbai. Already the BJP and Shiv Sena are fighting each other in the BMC. When contacted, Lele said, “Every party contests elections to increase its strength, it is immaterial whether the party is fighting the elections in an alliance or not. My aim is to increase the party’s strength in every ward of Thane Municipal Corporation. Right now we are looking at making our organisation strong here.”

According to party insiders, like in KDMC, in Thane also the BJP wants to try its luck. “We had some 9 seats in KDMC which we took to 42. Here also we have only 8 seats now, we will surely increase the number. This will help us strengthen our base. Earlier we used to even have Members of Parliament from Thane, but once candidates from Shiv Sena succeeded, our party never had them. Hence, if we go solo, we have nothing to lose. Any way we are 8, we can’t go below this, instead we will increase,” said Lele.

The Shiv Sena members claim that they have heard Lele and other BJP leaders speaking of going solo in the upcoming TMC polls. Naresh Mhaske, senior Sena leader in TMC, said, “Even we heard that Lele has said that BJP will have its Mayor in TMC, but for us it’s nothing but a joke. If BJP goes solo it will surely not get majority. In Thane its Shiv Sena all over.”

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the difference between the BJP and Sena is widening. With BJP Mumbai president Ashish Shelar attacked by Shiv Sena leaders (over the open spaces proposal and LED lights), and the BJP scrapping the proposal of Sena (over rooftop restaurants) in the BMC, it’s being said that both the parties will go separate ways. There were many in the BJP who had accused the Sena for Mumbai not being part of the Smart City list of the Centre, and in Sena people are upset with the BJP for stalling their projects.

Many from both sides of the BJP are expecting that the party will go solo in the 2017 municipal polls, in Thane and Mumbai.

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