Mumbai : The Bharatiya Janata Party seems ready to go in for alliance with Shiv Sena for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has instructed his party ministers to initiate a dialogue with Sena leaders. However the Sena president, Uddhav Thackeray asked the BJP to reveal its decision on seat sharing formula.
A BJP insider revealed that their party’s internal survey report indicates that the BJP could win 90 seats if they contest solo. “The party has submitted its report to Fadnavis who has also appointed an independent agency for getting response. They too predicted we could win 80 to 90 seats,” said the source.
However, there is a flip side to this development. Contesting solo would bring a whole new bag of troubles for Fadnavis. “If BJP wins the BMC elections, the party’s city president Ashish Shelar, other leaders like Vinod Tawde and Prakash Mehta will become strong. Fadnavis is likely not let this happen, as he would not want them to get stronger than him,” said a BJP office bearer. Meanwhile, Ashish Shelar refused to comment and reiterated that only CM will take the final decision regarding alliance with the Sena.
A senior leader, Sudhir Mungantiwar said, “Fadnavis has directed the party ministers to hold dialogue with local Sena leaders to work out various possibilities of alliance for Corporation and Zilla Parishad elections.”
The Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked BJP to clearly state its stand on seat sharing formula.
“The election commission will declare the dates for the poll anytime, there is not much time left, the BJP needs to tell us soon if they are interested in forging alliance. Once the final decision is taken, I will announce the details, he said.
Shiv Sena minister Subhash Desai said, “It’s BJP’s habit to engage us in dialogues and break the alliance at last moment to bring us in trouble. We are ready to accept any decision from BJP.”
Another Sena leader said, “An 114:113 seat sharing is not possible out the total 227 corporation seats that will be contested. We are ready to offer more seats to the BJP but not 45 seats more than the last time. The final decision will be taken by Uddhav Thackeray.”
In 2012 civic poll, BJP had contested 63 seats while Shiv Sena had contested 138 seats according to a seat sharing formula. They also took Republican Party of India (RPI) was their new ally which were contested 22 seats.
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