A day after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls delivered a hung verdict, senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari Friday insisted that there was “no option” for his party and its estranged ally Shiv Sena than joining hands for the control of the country’s richest civic body. “The situation now is that both parties have no option but to come together again,” Gadkari said.
On the other hand, the Sena, in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, accused the BJP of using deceitful means to destabilise them and asserted that the civic body’s coveted post of Mayor will be from their party. 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 said.
The BMC polls was viewed as the battle of prestige for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as they had ended their acrimonious relationship just before the elections. 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.
Reflecting on the post-poll prospects, Gadkari said, “The final decision on this issue has to be taken by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Both are mature and I am sure they will take the right decision.”
Having been relegated into third position after facing its worst ever rout in Mumbai, Congress said it will not do anything that will benefit either the Shiv Sena or BJP. “We will not dilute our ideological stand. People defeated us and gave us a mandate to sit in the opposition. We respect that. But voters have not given the saffron parties, who fought a bitter battle, the keys to power. Congress will not help these two parties, but would like to see their fight continue and differences aggravate,” Congress city unit chief Sanjay Nirupam was quoted as saying by PTI. Congress could only manage to win 31 of the 227 seats in the civic body.
Earlier in the day, the Sena received a shot in the arm after two independent corporators joined the party at party president Uddhav Thackeray’s residence ‘Matoshree’, thereby taking its total tally to 86.
With inputs from PTI