With state in hand, BJP trains its eyes on BMC

The state core committee of the party will meet for the first time after the government was sworn in; on the agenda today is choosing a president of the Maharashtra BJP and how to increase foothold in the civic body

The Gaoverment has been sworn in, and the BJP is now setting its sights on capturing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The party’s core committee is set to meet today to discuss a number of key issues, including the appointment of a new party chief for the state, and the municipal elections of 2017.

FUTURE PLANNING: The core committee comprises Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and ministers (from left) Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde and
FUTURE PLANNING: The core committee comprises Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and ministers (from left) Vinod Tawde, Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde

The core committee — comprising CM Devendra Fadnavis, Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Education Minister Vinod Tawde and Rural Development Minister Pankaja Munde — will meet at the party’s state headquarters in the city today. Fadnavis has to resign from the post of BJP state chief, as the party’s constitution doesn’t allow one person to hold two posts. Marathwada leader Sujit Singh Thakur is touted to be the next BJP state chief.

Sudhir Mungantiwar. File pics
Sudhir Mungantiwar. File pics

The meeting is said to be important for various reasons. The committee will take a call on issues such as expansion of the state ministries, deciding on the new state president of the party, and most importantly, increasing foothold in the civic body, which is currently led by the Shiv Sena.

According to a senior politician, “It is the first meeting after the election and important decisions are expected to be taken. The decision on the post of president will be finalised in Delhi, but the core committee will nominate a person and forward his name to Delhi. New inductees into the ministry will also be discussed.”

As far as the municipal body is concerned, “Things have changed in the last few days with the Shiv Sena deciding to sit in opposition. We also will have to think about our course of action in the BMC, where we are allied with the Sena,” the leader added. The Sena, with 63 MLAs, is the main opposition party in the Assembly, with Eknath Shinde as the Leader of Opposition.

Another Mumbai party leader said the meeting would touch upon ways to increase BJP’s presence in the BMC, when municipal elections come up in the year of 2017.

“Within a year, we will be able to make the party grow properly, from the grassroots to the top leadership in the state. We say this on the basis of the response we received in the city during the Assembly election. We have 15 MLAs in Mumbai, and we expect that these 15 MLAs will help us get six corporators each and take our tally in the BMC from 31 at present to 90,” explained the city-based politician.

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