Free Press Journal

Mumbai civic polls: Numbers add up for Shiv Sena, claims support of 98 seats


With the scales tipped in favour of the Shiv Sena, who will be the party’s Mayoral nominee? Many says it could be Vishakha Raut. She  is an experienced corporator of the party. Plus, the Sena could be sending a message by nominating a woman.

Mumbai: As the date for the Mayoral elections in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) approaches, it the Shiv Sena is gaining in strength by the day. With the support of the smaller parties, the Sena’s strength touched the 98 seats mark on Wednesday.

Sena is still firm in its stand that it will not form an alliance with the BJP in BMC. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) with 7 corporators indicated on Wednesday that it may extend support to the Sena to get the latter’s candidate elected as Mayor.

More support was forthcoming for the Sena on Wednesday. A corporator from the Samajwadi Party announced his vote will be for the Sena. Geeta Gawali, the sole corporator from the Akhil Bharatiya Sena is likely to go with Uddhav’s nominee during the voting on March 8.

In fact, election of the Mayor was slated for March 9, but has been brought a day forward to March 8. This was decided by BMC commissioner Joy Mehta.

The Congress with the third-largest bloc of 31 corporators is yet to make its position clear: whether to abstain from voting or put up its own candidate for Mayor. Congress sources said that a meeting on the matter was held between party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Mohan Prakash, in-charge of the party in Maharashtr0, it was decided to put up a candidate or walk out during voting to push through the Sena nominee. But with each passing day, the scenario could have changed drastically.

Following the meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in Delhi, it seemed that the BJP would no longer pursue the Mayoral post any more. However, there still remains a section within the BJP that wants the party to contest the top post in the BMC. Senior BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar is of the view that if the Congress fields its own candidate, the BJP stands to win the Mayoral contest. “It is not impossible to garner a high number of supporters for Mayoral election,” he said. Mungantiwar also rubbished possibilities of a mid-term poll. “The Sena will not dare to take the extreme step. The BJP government will complete its full term,” he said.

So, with the scales tipped in favour of the Sena, who would be its Mayoral nominee. Many say that Vishakha Raut could be the corporator to watch out for.