Mumbai: BJP willing to join hands with Shiv Sena in BMC polls
Bharatiya Janata Party is more than willing to forge an alliance with the Shiv Sena for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls to be held early in 2017. The two have been winning the BMC together for more than two decades. But, unlike the state government, the BJP is a minor partner in the city’s civic body.
(From left) Union minister Prakash Javadekar, BJP state chief Raosaheb Danve, BJP national president Amit Shah, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and others in Kolhapur for the party’s state convention
Speaking to his party colleagues at the BJP’s state convention in Kolhapur, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday that the current partners in the BMC would contest elections together. However, he said that the local party organisation would also have a say in the decision.
“We have a policy of alliance, no doubt. And we have told respective local units to have pacts wherever possible,” he said on the sidelines of the meet, which discussed the party’s plans of expanding its base across the state. Sources said that inviting the old ally for coalition would be the BJP’s policy in future, but it would entirely depend on the response of the Shiv Sena.
After their split ahead of the Assembly polls last year, the BJP won 122 seats, almost twice the numbers bagged by the Sena. In Mumbai, too, the BJP has more seats than the Sena. This strength of numbers is going to be a bone of contention between the two parties, as the BJP has decided to demand more in its share of 228 BMC seats.
In fact, the BJP and Sena had recently patched up in the civic polls of Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai, where the Sena won more seats than the ally. The two retained power in Aurangabad but failed in sealing the NCP’s fate in Navi Mumbai. The mixed results also caused a blame game between the partners.
Along with Mumbai, two other major civic corporations in Thane and Pune will also go to polls in 2017. In Thane, the Sena is still a strong force, but the BJP has all Assembly seats in Pune, where it could ask for a major share to contest.
Number of corporators Shiv Sena has in BMC
Number of legislators BJP has in the BMC