With the stage set for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to take oath as Chief Minister as part of the Sena-NCP-Congress government, the Congress and NCP have initiated talks for sharing of power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation as well. Following this, the BJP has decided to stake claim to the post of Opposition leader in the BMC.
Currently, Asia’s richest municipal corporation is ruled by the Shiv Sena and all important posts, from Mayor to Standing Committee chairman, are held by Shiv Sena corporators. The Shiv Sena is the single largest party in the BMC with 94 corporators.
According to the Congress and NCP leaders in the civic body, like in the state government, power should be shared in the BMC and other municipal corporations as well. A senior Congress leader in the BMC said, “We have initiated talks for sharing of power in the BMC. The Congress should be given Deputy Mayor’s post, Standing Committee chairman on rotation and some other key committees.”
While the Congress has 29 corporators, the NCP has eight elected representatives in the BMC. The BJP and Shiv Sena have been in alliance for over 15 years in the civic body. However, in the 2017 civic polls, the BJP claimed to be acting as a watchdog in the BMC but now it has decided to sit in the Opposition.
A BJP leader said, “We were working as the watchdog in the BMC but now we will sit in the Opposition following the change in state government. By next week we will give a formal letter to the BMC municipal secretary department for our position as Opposition party.”
However, Congress corporators feel that it won’t be that easy to arrive at a power sharing arrangement as the Shiv Sena will not easily give the posts it has held for years. Especially, in case of Standing Committee, which takes all decisions on financial proposals.
Recently, in the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections, the Congress-NCP did not put up any candidates against the Shiv Sena. The BJP did not put up any candidate either.
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