BJP, Shiv Sena signal truce, Fadnavis says won't contest BMC mayoral poll
05 March, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Garry Little
Underworld don Arun Gawli's daughter Geeta, who won the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections from Byculla seat, has extended her support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), taking the toll of corporators to 83 in 227-member House. Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena announced its candidates for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
A senior Shiv Sena leader said, "For now, the chief minister has realised that not challenging the Shiv Sena in the BMC is beneficial to him and we are happy about that".
Meanwhile, Fadnavis added that the BJP corporators would serve as "soldiers of transparency" and keep a watch over the BMC administration - which will now be exclusively in the hands of the Sena.
In effect, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis - in a master stroke - nipped in the bud the possibility of the Shiv Sena walking out of the BJP-led saffron alliance Government and also sent out a clear-cut message to Uddhav Thackeray that through the to-be appointed Upalokayukta, his party would keep a close watch on the ruling Sena in the BMC, which has been ridden with massive corruption in recent years.
Devendra Fadnavis also said that the decision was taken by the party heads after cabinet meeting was held at Chief Minister's residence - Varsha - in Mumbai.
By retaining power in the BMC with BJP's "generosity", Sena's bargaining power declines in state politics, where it plays the belligerent ally of the BJP. It has also negated all options for the Sena to carry out its threat of quitting the State government while putting an end to speculations mid-term Assembly polls and political instability for the present. During the poll campaign, BJP leaders including Fadnavis had accused the Sena of misgoverning the BMC and called for transparency in civic affairs. He said the BJP would soon constitute a three-member committee comprising senior IAS officers to find out the various aspects of civic governance where transparency and accountability could be instilled. Though both the BJP and Sena will have equal strength of 10 seats in the civic standing committee, we will not contest the chairmanship's post in this committee. For 25 years BJP and Shiv Sena were together but after the recent break up Sena is being adamant and close to nearly pulling out their ministers from the state government. The last date to file nominations for the post of mayor is March 8.
The Shiv Sena had won 84 seats, BJP 82 seats, Congress 31 seats, Samajwadi Party - 6, AIMIM - 3 seats, ABS - 1, and others - 5.
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