MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena appears to have toughened its stand to go solo in the election of Mumbai mayor and not to share power in the municipal corporation with the BJP, even as the latter is said to be waiting for the UP results before going in for any big decision like the mid-term polls.
“We shall have our corporator seated as the mayor of Mumbai. The numbers are with us. We have not appealed anyone to come along with us,” senior Shiv Sena leader Anil Desai said while speaking to private television news channel on Wednesday.
He also clarified that his party had made an honest attempt to negotiate pre-poll alliance with the BJP for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections. However, he did not reveal if there are any chances of a patch-up between the Shiv Sena and the BJP in the BMC.
The date for Mumbai mayor’s election was advanced to March 8. It is being said that the decision would prevent the Congress from openly supporting the Shiv Sena in BMC as that is the day of voting for the last phase of UP polls. However, Desai said that the change of day will not affect Shiv Sena’s prospects.
The BJP appears to have decided to wait before deciding on the alliance till the results of the UP election are out while trying to pacify the Shiv Sena on one hand.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis got environment ministry’s nod for coastal road project in Mumbai. He also secured the permission to have the authorisation on warrier King Shivaji’s forts-- transferred from the archeology department to the State government. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had raised these demands at Prime Minister Modi’s public rally in Mumbai in December. And hence, Fadnavi’s efforts are being interpreted as the BJP’s attempt to cozy up with the Shiv Sena.
Several prominent BJP leaders have been talking in favour of alliance with the Shiv Sena. But, a group is strongly in favour of severing ties with the Shiv Sena permanently. The group has reportedly decided to wait till the UP results are out to push for their demand.
“If we do well in Uttar Pradesh, the party leadership is likely to give nod for mid-term polls. We have recently zapped rural, semi-urban and urban local body elections in the State. The mid-term polls would provide us an opportunity to increase our strength in the Assembly as well and then we would not be dependent on anyone to run the government,” a senior minister told Express.
In the recently-held BMC polls, the Shiv Sena won 84 seats, BJP 82, Congress was relegated to the third spot with 31 seats, NCP got nine and Raj Thackeray's MNS won seven seats.