Mumbai: The Congress and Shiv Sena are ready to support each other in the upcoming election for the post of president of ward committees in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which will be held next week.
As Sena has parted ways with its former saffron ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now it's banking on its Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) counterpart in the civic body.
A BMC ward committee is formed by merging the total number of corporators of one or more wards, each of this committee has a president. The corporators of the committee vote for the post of president hence it is likely that the party which has maximum number of corporators will have its candidate as the president.
There are total 17 ward committees in Mumbai, of which nine committees have BJP corporators as presidents and in remaining eight committees, the presidents hail from Sena.
Last week, elections for the post of chairpersons in the BMC and BEST executive committees were held. Even though Congress had fielded their candidates, they withdrew them on the last minute and maintained a neutral stand, this resulted to Sena's victory against BJP, with the support of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Samajwadi Party (SP).
Sources in BMC confirmed that as Congress had helped Sena to win the posts of chairpersons, the latter will back Congress in the elections of ward committee as well.
Also at the same time, the Congress is reluctant to let go its status quo as the leader of opposition in the BMC.
"Presently we are the leader of opposition and decision regarding filing nominations of our candidates has not been taken yet. Whatever decision taken by the high command, we will follow," Ravi Raja, senior Congress Corporator and Leader of Party (LoP) told FPJ.
A senior corporator informed, Congress is being offered the post of president in three wards - P north (Malad), K east (Andheri East) and D and E ward (Byculla, Grant road) joint committee.
"The Congress has its decent number of corporators, if either Sena withdraws its candidate or abstain from voting then Congress may win some of the posts. Congress is reluctant to get direct support from Sena as they are keen to hold on to their opposition post as well," said a senior corporator.
Meanwhile, the BJP stated that the elections for the ward committee will expose the Congress, which is silently supporting the Sena while maintaining that they are opposition on top.
"The Congress is silently supporting the Sena while claiming to be the opposition. This is absolutely unfair, the Congress have no moral right to be the opposition as they are planning to form an MVA government in the BMC as well," Vinod Mishra, senior BJP corporator and group leader in the BMC told FPJ.
The elections will take place on October 13, 14 and 15 while the nominations would be filed on October 12.