Mumbai: A day after Shiv Sena lost the Bhandup bypolls, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) faced a major setback as six out of seven corporators from the party left the party and formed their own group to support the Shiv Sena.
A group of six corporators led by Dilip Lande has written to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner to allow them to form a separate group in the BMC.
But due to some technical reason, it could not happen on Friday. The results of the Bhandup bypoll led to a war of words between the saffron allies. It also increased the confidence of the BJP leaders and they started to threaten to pull the rug from under Sena’s feet by challenging its number one position in the civic body. BJP MP Kirit Somaiaya said that in next few days, there will be a BJP mayor in BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The BJP was trying to get minimum 10 more corporators from Congress or other parties, but this did not happen. But the Shiv Sena hit a masterstroke.
MNS leader Blala Nandgaonkar said that the party was aware of the development and did not take it seriously. “The Shiv Sena finally had to take the help of MNS. However, these traitors will be taught a lesson.”
The MNS has also written a letter to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner to not allow this split, terming it a violation of anti-defection laws, sources from MNS said.
The BJP had also jumped in and complained to the State Election Commission that a major political party in the Mumbai civic body was trying to buy corporators.
“Our ally in the BMC has tried to kidnap four councillors and they have been offered Rs 2 to 4 crore each. One such councillor is from Ghatkopar and his family has just informed me of this. That’s why I have written a letter to the Election Commission,” BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said.
After getting support from the group of six corporators, the Shiv Sena’s tally in the BMC will be now 94 and it also enjoys the support of four independents. The BJP has 82 corporators and has the support of two independents.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the corporators have come to their original home. ‘It is Ghar Vapasi for them,” he said.
“If anyone is alleging that there was horse trading and Shiv Sena offered Rs 3 to 4 crore to the councillors, then they are not mature in politics,” Thackeray said.