BJP to leverage growing clout in pact with Shiv Sena for BMC polls

Updated: Dec 18, 2016, 13:44 IST | Dharmendra Jore

On a high after stunning performance in civic elections in state, CM wants an 'honourable deal' for BMC polls, says party will set terms for alliance

Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are expected to discuss a pre-election pact soon. File pic
Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are expected to discuss a pre-election pact soon. File pic

Nagpur: It's a more assertive BJP you'll see in the run-up to the BMC elections. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday said the alliance with Shiv Sena in the BMC will hinge on the BJP's growing clout in the state when the two parties sit down to discuss a pre-poll pact.

The CM's declaration has laid bare the party's tactic on the negotiation table: that there will be no 'settlement' when it comes to seat sharing.

Apart from 12 big corporations, including Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur and Pune, 26 zilla parishads (ZPs) and hundreds of panchayat samitis under ZPs are slated to go to polls early next year.

Shot in the arm
Currently, the BJP is on a high because of its stupendous performance in civic elections in about 200 small towns. The party expects to make a clean sweep in eastern Vidarbha, where the last phase of these polls will be held later this month.

The BJP has already asked its district units to decide on a pact with the Sena at local levels. The BJP went solo in the 2014 assembly elections to win power in the state. It made the Sena a partner in the state government on its own terms. The Sena is a marginal stakeholder in the Modi government and keeps raising a voice against the policies of the state and the Centre.

"We are positive of a pre-poll alliance in Mumbai, but we want an honourable deal because of our increased strength in the latest civic polls," said Fadnavis, adding that his party favoured running the BMC in a transparent manner.

Much at stake
Taking over the seat of power in the BMC will be a high point for the CM, who has been extensively touring the state as part of the party's campaigning. Fadnavis will be the BJP's face in the BMC and other cities as well.

PM Narendra Modi will launch the BJP's poll campaign on December 24, laying the foundation to the Shivaji Maharaj memorial in the Arabian Sea and some infrastructure projects.

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