BMC polls: Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray set to take final call today

Mumbai: Senior ministers of the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) have told the Free Press Journal that the chances of an alliance between their parties now seem slim. They admit there has been exchange of many adverse comments, however now if they contest separately, after the current round of talks, the battle will not be bitter. As part of the continuous rounds of talks, the next meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will be held on Wednesday at the residence of an industrialist to take the final call.

Tuesday was a crucial day for both the Sena and the BJP. Thackeray took a review meeting with his party leaders which was attended by Member of Parliament (MPs), member of state assembly (MLAs), leaders and deputy leaders at ‘Matoshree’, residence of Thackeray. Later he took a meeting of vibhag pramukhs (regional heads) and discussed the strategy.

While disclosing the minutes of the meeting, a senior Sena leader said, “Uddhav and Fadnavis are of the view that there should be an alliance between them in all the 10 corporations including BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). But we pressurised Thackeray not to go with BJP whose leaders are terming our leader, Thackeray as ‘Mafia’.”

Gajanan Kirtikar, a MP from Sena said, “The BJP has demanded 40 seats from Sena out of its proposal of 114 seats. It is an insult to us. We offered them 60 seats and we reacted to their unreasonable demand.”

The Sena minister further stated that if Kirit Somaiya (BJP MP) will criticise Thackeray, allow any regional in-charge of the Sena to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Uddhav is polite and generous politician and he rejected our demand. He denied to allow the lower cadre to criticise PM.” the Sena minister said. Thackeray also instructed us to tone down against Modi during poll campaign. It has understanding between both the party leaders that nobody will use harsh language against each other, the minister said. Now chances about alliance are less, he added. “Whatever will be the final decision, it will be announced on January 26,” said Ramdas Kadam, senior Sena leader and minister for environment. BJP minister on condition of anonymity confirmed it. “There will not be alliance with Sena now,” the BJP minister said.

Meanwhile, Fadnavis and the state party president Raosaheb Danve met party president Amit Shah in Delhi on Tuesday evening. The decision of the meeting was not been revealed by any of the leader. But, it was decided Fadnavis and Thackeray will meet on Wednesday at the residence of an industrialist whose name was keep secret by both the party leaders. BJP too has prepared a list of 197 candidates to announce at any time after the high-level meeting.

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