Mumbai: Sena, NCP reach an understanding for jointly contesting Mumbai, Pune and other civic body polls

Amid Congress party’s rhetoric about going solo in the ensuing civic body elections, Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party have reached a consensus to jointly fight elections to the Mumbai and Pune Municipal Corporations. They have not ruled out the possibility of Congress party joining the alliance as both Shiv Sena and NCP will discuss how to accommodate the latter. This was revealed by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut during his visit to Pune on Saturday.

The move by Shiv Sena and NCP is important especially when they along with the Congress party are the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners. The trio had repeatedly said that they have joined hands together to keep BJP at bay and have also declared that three parties will together fight the coming elections with a sole objective of defeating the BJP.

“A formula to jointly contest the Pune civic body election has been finalised. Shiv Sena and NCP will stay together. We will discuss how to accommodate the Congress in it,” said Raut. "In the city where the party has the strength, they should take the initiative for a possible alliance," said Raut. He noted that Shiv Sena has more strength in Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Aurangabad and Nashik where the strength of other parties is less.

"Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad are some of the Municipal Corporations where the strength of NCP is more than that of Shiv Sena. We will discuss with Deputy Chief Minister and NCP veteran Ajit Pawar on how to fight the elections together,” said Raut.

“If we fight the elections together, we will definitely start moving towards a change of rule in these civic bodies,” he opined.

Rau has not divulged further details about understanding between Shiv Sena and NCP for the upcoming BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation elections slated for 2022. However, Sena and NCP insiders claim that there has been a broad understanding between the two for an alliance while continuing efforts to bring the Congress party on board to foil BJP’s Mumbai Mission 2022.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Nana Patole said that Congress party will independently contest the civic and local body elections in Maharashtra. “Whatever Sanjay Raut said is the stand about the civic and local body elections. The Congress party has already announced that it will go solo in these elections. However, there is no problem with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and it will complete its five year term,” he said.

Patole said that the Congress party will take into confidence grassroot workers while taking decisions for civic and local body polls.

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