Rift between BJP- Shiv Sena might impact BMC mayor polls

Agencies
Saturday, 16 November 2019

Mayor Mahadeshwar's two-and-half year term ended in September 2019 but he was given an extension till November in view of the state Assembly polls held on October 21.

MUMBAI: The rift between BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra may have an impact on Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation mayoral polls scheduled for November 22.

In the 2017 BMC polls, the Shiv Sena had won 84 corporator seats while the its then ally BJP was a close second with 82 seats in the 227-member house.

The Bharatiya Janta Party had then extended support to the Shiv Sena and its leader Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was elected mayor.

Mayor Mahadeshwar's two-and-half year term ended in September 2019 but he was given an extension till November in view of the state Assembly polls held on October 21.

The two parties drifted apart after the Assembly results were announced on October 24, with the Shiv Sena demanding equal sharing of the chief ministerial tenure, which the BJP rejected.

If BJP withdraws its support of 82 corporators, the Shiv Sena will still comfortably hold onto its power if its allies with NCP-Congress at the civic level, taking its combined tally to 130.

Queried on the chances of the BJP putting up a candidate for the mayoral poll, the party's Mumbai unit chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha said it had not taken a decision on this as yet.

The Samajwadi Party's Rais Shaikh said his party was in talks with the Congress and a decision would be taken soon.

Activist Anil Galgali, who has uncovered several scams in the country's richest municipal body through his RTI pleas, said BJP would be the key in this scenario where Congress-NCP are in talks with the Shiv Sena at the state-level.

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