Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the BJP was ready for an alliance with the Shiv Sena for the forthcoming BMC elections in early 2017. He, however, indicated that the BJP would impress upon the alliance partner to consider two conditions. First, the BJP would like to bring greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of the BMC. Secondly, the Shiv Sena should consider the electoral growth of the BJP while determining seat share.
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The chief minister laid down the conditions for the alliance during an informal talk with the media in Nagpur. The remarks indicate that pre-poll talks are not going to be a smooth affair as the BJP would like to strike a hard bargain over seat share, pitching for almost 50 per cent share of the total 227 wards to signal its growing organisational strength in Mumbai and rest of Maharashtra.
In 2014, the BJP bagged 15 Assembly seats compared to Sena’s 14 seats out of 36 seats in Mumbai. The BJP’s argument is, seat-sharing should be based on ground reality.
The Shiv Sena has been controlling the BMC for the last 15 years. In the last one year, BJP’s Ashish Shelar (MLA), Kirit Somaiya (MP) and others have been vehemently protesting against corruption in the BMC.