BMC elections 2017: Shiv Sena-BJP poll alliance tie-up remains iffy

Mumbai: The fate of the pre-poll alliance between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hanging in the balance even after discontented Bharatiya Janata Party leaders met chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday evening. Fadnavis took marathon meetings with party leaders and party functionaries to review the party’s position in each ward. BJP insider claimed it has indication of preparedness to go slow in negotiating an alliance for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls.

BJP office bearers met Fadnavis at his official residence ‘Varsha’ and updated him about their meeting with Sena leaders. Terming the Sena offer of just 60 seats as an “insult”, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar said that though the BJP is optimistic about an alliance with the Sena, the final decision shall be taken by the Chief Minister and state BJP president Raosaheb Danve.

In a counter-offensive senior Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut remarked “Judging by the BJPs strength in Mumbai, offer of 60 seats to BJP is more than necessary. But Uddhav Thackeray is large hearted and hence has offered them the seats.”

“The opinion in the party has been that no more than 60 seats should be given to the BJP. We respect the Chief Minister and hence Uddhavji has sent this honorable proposal. For increasing the seat share to smaller parties (BJP) there has to be a reason for all to agree. Since it is the municipal corporation polls the strength of corporators will be the basis of judging respective strength and discussions will be held on that basis,” Raut said.

Shelar said that the BJP meeting also took stock of the party’s election preparedness and the points to be included in the party’s election manifesto. He added that the meeting finalised the points regarding bringing transparency in the administration of BMC as is being expected by the people of Mumbai.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day Sena president Uddhav Thackeray took a U-turn from his own declared deadline of January 21 for a decision on the alliance. Thackeray said that demonetization too had missed its deadline, then why deadlines for talks? He also announced poll promises to voters in Thane and Ulhasnagar.

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