Triumphant BJP says it is ready for alliance but Shiv Sena is delaying
CM Devendra Fadnavis and BJP state president Raosaheb Danve are garlanded at the party headquarters in south Mumbai during the celebration of the party’s victory in the first phase of civic polls. Pic/PTI
Now that the BJP has proved its point by making major gains in the first phase of municipal polls across the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the party has always been ready for a partnership, but it is the Shiv Sena that has slowed down the formation of an alliance. In fact, the CM said that the two parties together could have won more seats in the polls.
The two parties had eventually reached an agreement for most of the polls, but it was too late by then, and they had to fight the elections separately. “We came together just a day before the withdrawal date. We could have done better had we got the alliance in place much before,” Fadnavis told the media yesterday in Mumbai, where his party was celebrating the victory.
Apart from winning the maximum number of seats so far (893), the BJP has also placed 52 of its members in the post of municipal chief in councils where the Maharashtra Election Commission has declared results so far. Sena comes second with less than half the number — 25.
No doubt, this win has given BJP more confidence to go solo in the upcoming BMC elections in February next year as well. However, the party will likely put the ball in the Sena’s court ahead of polls. The parties are expected to have fresh talks for the BMC polls, but the bone of contention remains the BJP’s demand for at least half the seats, considering the fact that it has greater strength in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha seats from the city.
Earlier in the day, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told the media that he had expected his party workers to work harder in Vidarbha, where the BJP outshined all other parties. Thackeray also took a potshot at Fadnavis’ statement that the BJP would also emerge as the single largest party in the BMC polls.
“My best wishes are with the BJP,” he said, implying that it would be a tall order for the BJP.
When asked about it, Fadnavis was equally sarcastic. “Uddhavji’s best wishes are always with us and I thank him for it,” he said.
Others & Independent: 935
Total seats declared: 3,727
* Maharashtra Election Commission update as of Tuesday