KDMC polls: BJP offers olive branch to Shiv Sena

BJP says it doesn’t mind being the ‘younger brother’; cautious Sena calls BJP a ‘25-year-old friend’

In politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies! The two parties, Shiv Sena and BJP, who were baying for each other’s blood until the last day of campaigning for the KDMC polls, now appear to be in the mood to renew their friendship.

During the heat of campaigning, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray held nothing back while trading barbs with each other. File pics
During the heat of campaigning, CM Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray held nothing back while trading barbs with each other. File pics

While the BJP claimed it would take Sena along even if it came to power single-handedly, taking a more cautious approach, Sena called BJP its 25-year-old friend.

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A senior citizen proudly displays his inked finger outside a polling station in Kalyan yesterday. Pic/Sameer MarkandeA senior citizen proudly displays his inked finger outside a polling station in Kalyan yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
A senior citizen proudly displays his inked finger outside a polling station in Kalyan yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

BJP state secretary Sanjay Upadhyay, who was campaigning for the party in Kalyan-Dombivli, said, “We will take Sena along. We don’t mind being the ‘younger brother’. We are friends and don’t mind being together in KDMC and Kolhapur.”

The saffron combine currently rules the KDMC. However, the two parties called off their over two-decade-old alliance and went solo for the KDMC polls. During the heat of campaigning, the star campaigners from both the parties — Uddhav Thackeray and CM Devendra Fadnavis — held nothing back while trading barbs with each other during campaigning.

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While Thackeray threatened to pull out from the state government, Fadnavis termed Sena a ‘naatak company’. However, it looks like both the parties have decided to let bygones be bygones. Niranjan Shetty, Mumbai BJP chief spokesperson, said, “We are together in the state government, but here we decided to contest separately. However, this doesn’t mean our friendship has ended.”

A cautious approach
While it is apparent that the BJP is ready with an olive branch, Sena seems to be treading with caution. Abhijit Adsul, ex-MLA and Sena vibhag pramukh, said, “We never called off the friendship with the BJP. They are a 25-year-old friend. However, it was the BJP that broke the alliance here.

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I clearly remember that we were ready to wait, but BJP was in a hurry to break up. However, the final decision will be taken by Uddhav Thackeray.” He, however, claimed that the reason why BJP was eager for an alliance was because it had dawned upon them that they are nowhere close to getting a clear majority.

 

Voter speak

Pranav Vispute (25), Kalyan resident
What we expect from the new civic body are: good roads, electricity, an efficient public transport system, elimination of traffic snarls, solution for ever-present water crisis, encroachment-free roads and footpaths and women’s safety. We also hope that our demand for relocation of the dumping ground in Kalyan is considered, as it has become a major health hazard.

Priti Pal (24), Dombivli resident
Considering the existing scenario in Kalyan-Dombivli, turning the region into a smart city is a distant dream. What we citizens currently want are basic civic amenities.

Revaben (86), Kalyan resident
No matter how old a person gets, one must always perform their fundamental duty. Hence, I’ve come here to vote

Fact file
>> A total of 117 seats of 122 went to poll yesterday 
>> Of the remaining five: 3 candidates won unopposed; 2 wards received no nomination

12,50,646
Total number of voters in Kalyan-Dombivli

6,68,730
Number of male voters

5,81,916
Number of female voters

— As told to Ankoor Anvekar

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