The Bharatiya Janata Party has laid claim to a crucial post in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation the chairmanship of the BMCs standing committee that controls all expenditure by the countrys richest civic corporation.
Demanding its share as part of the ruling combine,the BJP wants one of its party members to be given a chance for the post,for which elections will be held shortly. However,the Shiv Sena has refused to consider the demand.
Elections for the second term of the chairmanship of the 26-member standing committee will take place on April 4. BJP group leader in BMC Ashish Shelar met Sena leader Sunil Prabhu and discussed the proposal on Friday. We have tabled the proposal with the Sena and now the decision will be taken by the higher-ups in the parties, Shelar said.
When contacted,Sena leader and standing committee chairman Ravindra Waikar said there was no question of handing over the post to the BJP. They make the demand every year,but considering the numbers and other political aspects,it is impossible to give the seat to them, he said. But,let the higher-ups take a decision.
The BJP,in its 25 years of alliance with the Sena,has managed to occupy the post of chairperson only twice: Ramdas Nayak in 1992-93 and Sardar Tara Singh in 1998. Since then,though the party had demanded it a number of times,the BJP was never given a chance to occupy the post.
We are part of the ruling combine and we should get such an important post at least once in five years, Shelar said. The party had demanded the post immediately after the civic elections in 2007,but was denied the same,owing to political equations at that time.
Sources said the BJP is already preparing itself for a negative answer from its ally. The equation between the Sena and the BJP will not depend on the post. It is a fair proposal and we just want the Sena to consider it, Shelar said.
Sena members Mangesh Satamkar and Rahul Shewale are likely to contest for the post. The BJP members said the party will also field a candidate if the demand is approved by the Sena.