Much of the attention is now on the newly elected Independent corporators being wooed by both the Shiv Sena and the BJP who need the numbers to control the BMC. A day after the poll verdict, the Shiv Sena reached out to Independent corporators and to other parties to see whether they would support it or abstain from voting at the time of election of the mayor. On Friday, four Independent corporators, out of five, offered their support to the Sena, which has won 84 seats in the civic polls. Independent corporators Tulshiram Shinde, Snehal More, Changez Multani and Kiran Landge met the Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to offer support.
The Sena is also likely to get the support of the Akhil Bhartiaya Sena corporator Geeta Gawli, which supported the party in 2012. A Sena leader said that Gawli shared a good equation with the party leadership and had been in power with the Sena in the BMC. In the 227-member house, the party which controls the civic body will need 114 seats. While the Sena won 84 seats, the BJP was close on its heels at 82 with the Congress ending up with 31 seats,the MNS 7, NCP 9, Samajwadi Party 6 and MIM 2.
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“Our attempts are on in the BMC to ensure that the saffron flag remains atop. Besides Independents, more corporators are in touch with us and they will give their support to the Sena at the right time,” said Haji Arafat Shaikh, Sena’s deputy leader.
The leader said that the party reckons that the NCP may also support the Sena.
“Besides the Congress, we think the MNS is likely to back us. The Samajwadi Party and MIM may abstain or remain neutral during the voting, which will also help us in proving majority,” the senior leader said. Another leader pointed out that the Sena had praised the development work such as the Metro carried out by the previous Congress-led government in the state.
“Attempts are being made to ensure a Sena mayor in the BMC. All the possibilities are being worked out for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mumtaz Rehbar Khan, an Independent corporator from Bandra (West), is yet to offer her support to any party.
“Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar is my friend. But, I haven’t given my support to any party so far. The first preference will given to a candidate from secular parties. Else, support will be given to the party which agrees to give maximum fund for the development of our locality,” said Rehbar Khan, husband of Mumtaz.