Gearing up for the 2022 civic polls in Mumbai, Congress leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in BMC Ravi Raja on Thursday said that the party workers are in favour of fighting the election "on its own." Clarifying his stance further, Raja said that a call on a coalition with its 'Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance' allies - Shiv Sena and NCP will be taken up by the high command.
Notably, the grand old party is a part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, which was formed with the alliance of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress. However, while talking to media persons Raja on Thursday mentioned that Congress party workers wish that party must contest in the 2022 BMC polls alone and there is no need for a tie-up.
"Party workers feel that we must face the elections on our own, as it has always been. The final call on this will be taken by the party high command. At my level, how can I as a Leader of Opposition in the BMC suggest coalition with the ruling party. That will mean, stepping down from the position of the LoP. People need to use logic instead of vaguely interpreting things."
Currently, Shiv Sena holds all the important posts in the Mumbai civic body including the mayor's post with 84 seats in 227-member corporation.
Sena, which fought the Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019 in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had snapped ties with its decades-old ally over the issue of chief minister's post, and later joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form the government.
BMC, known to be Asia's richest civic body, has been controlled by the Sena for the last 30 years.
Following Sena's exit from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the BJP had declared that it would contest the BMC elections 2022 on its own.
In the BMC pols 2017, the saffron party had won 82 seats, while Shiv Sena had bagged 86 out of total 227 seats in the municipal body. Later, six corporators of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) joined the Sena taking its tally to 92. The Congress and the NCP got 30 and 9 seats respectively.