The Shiv Sena and the BJP, which should ideally be celebrating the golden jubilee of their marriage, have entered into a tug-of-war over seat sharing for the upcoming civic poll in the city, bringing their marital discord out in the open.
Ties under strain: Shiv Sena city chief Nana Wadekar
According to political observers, the relationship between the saffron political bedfellows seems to have run into rough weather with both parties unwilling to sacrifice 30 seats. Sena city chief Nana Wadekar asserted that party would not compromise. "How can we sacrifice out traditional seats which are considered Sena strongholds?" said Wadekar.
BJP city president Vikas Mathkari. Wadekar has reiterated his party
won't give away the 30 seat. File pics
He added, "The decision on the disputed seats has been pending for the past few days as both the parties have fielded strong claimants for them." Wadekar, however, said that there is no question of giving these seats to the BJP as Sena candidates have been winning from these areas for the past few years.
Ward number 108 (Warje-Karve Nagar), 17 (Kondhwa-Undri) and 57 (Parvati) are some of the Shiv Sena strongholds from where the BJP is planning to field its candidates. The Sena seems to have little problem with the third of partner of their newly formed alliance -- the Mahayuti.
Both the BJP and the Sena have already given five and three seats, respectively, to their new partner -- the RPI. "The RPI's seat sharing demands are quite reasonable, so we have decided to give them the seats dominated by the Scheduled Caste voters," said Wadekar.
According to sources, the RPI has demanded 33 seats of the total 152 for forthcoming civic polls. BJP city chief Vikas Mathkari told MiD DAY that the party had taken its decision on the controversial 30 seats and was waiting for the Sena's response.
Mathkari said, "Out of 152 seats, a unanimous decision has been taken on 92 seats by the Mahayuti. The BJP and the Sena have adjusted the seat sharing by giving their five and three seats, respectively, to the RPI. But the decision of those thirty seats will be taken in the next round of meeting which is expected in the next few days."
Wadekar said that the 92 seats agreed upon by both the parties were those areas where none of them had stronghold. "As none of the partners had a strong presence in those, we quickly agreed upon them," he added.