Two days after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls delivered a hung verdict, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday ruled out any alliance with the Congress for the control of the country’s richest civic body. “BJP won’t ally with Congress at any point and cost. Whoever (Shiv Sena) wants to go with them can go, we won’t say a single word,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Buoyed by the success of BJP in local body elections in Maharashtra, the chief minister hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for starting “transparent politics” and added they were getting positive response as all communities have voted for them.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam asserted that the party won’t ally with Shiv Sena for the selection of Deputy Mayor. He claimed that some leaders from the Sena have approached them, adding that they can’t ally with communal party that does politics based on caste and religion. Congress could only manage to win 31 of the 227 seats in the civic body. Having been relegated into third position after facing its worst ever rout in Mumbai, Congress had earlier said it will not do anything that will benefit either the Shiv Sena or BJP.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut dismissed reports of joining hands with Congress and insisted that the coveted post of Mayor will be held by Sena only. The Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, had earlier accused the BJP of using deceitful means to destabilise them. The party also said it has decided to “walk on the path of fire” and will continue its fight by not “worrying about the consequences”. “Our fight (with the BJP) will continue. The war that had started was not only for power but for dharma, ideals and the integrity of Maharashtra,” the Sena had said.
In a stellar performance, the BJP emerged as the largest party in eight of the 10 municipal corporations across Maharashtra and also made huge inroads by finishing second (82) to the Sena, which won 84 seats, in the latter’s Mumbai bastion. The BMC polls was also viewed as the battle of prestige for CM Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as they had ended their acrimonious relationship just before the elections.