Mudslinging match has started between Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena as their marriage is over in Maharashtra. Shiv Sena also declared that not only in municipal elections but it will contest the state elections alone. The upcoming elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be a trial of survival for the ruling Shiv Sena while ally BJP, which is now the dominant partner in Maharashtra, is seeing the electoral battle to take control of Asia’s richest civic body to create space for itself in the city’s political landscape.
“This decision is not only for Mumbai and BMC polls, but for the entire Maharashtra state. We will contest the state elections using our own strength and power. We want to bring stability in Maharashtra, which has been hampered post demonetisation,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya accused Shiv Sena of being involved in corruption. He asserted that they would make no compromise and bring in transparency in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) under the leadership of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray yesterday announced that his party would contest the BMC solo, thereby ruling out an alliance with the BJP. Thackeray confirmed that the Shiv Sena will not enter into an alliance with any party. According to reports, Sena and the BJP held seat-sharing talks but failed to reach an agreement.
The BMC polls will be held on February 21, and results will be announced on February 23. Currently BJP has 33 corporators while ruling Sena has 75 members. The Congress and NCP stand at 52 and 13 each while the MNS has 28 members in the municipal body. Ten municipal corporations, including Mumbai, Pune and Nashik will go to polls on February 2
Political observers say the election will primarily be a Shiv Sena versus BJP battle. On the preparatory side, BJP, which emerged as the ‘big brother’ after the 2014 assembly polls, has already put in place its organisational structure up to booth levels in all the wards. Grassroot workers are of the view that BJP should go alone and the party expects to win more than 80seats or emerge as the single largest party in the 227-member House. “As per the assembly election results of 2014, BJP was ahead in over 144 wards,” the BJP leader added.