AFTER joining hands with the Shiv Sena to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state last year, the Congress is now looking at a similar power-sharing formula in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The party now wants one of its members to be appointed chairman of any of the four statutory committees, elections for which are slated to be held next week. The last time a Congress representative was appointed chairman of any of these committees was 20 years ago.
Senior Congress corporators on Friday said talks were on with the Sena, but nothing had been decided yet. “We are discussing the issue but there is uncertainty on power-sharing. There will be some clarity after members’ nomination for these committees is completed next week,” a senior party corporator said.
Sena sources, however, said no decision has been taken, as of now, on sharing power with the Congress.
The BMC will elect chairpersons to its education, improvement, BEST and standing committees as their term has ended.
After the three-party MVA alliance was formed last year, it was decided to have an equitable power-sharing in the Sena-led BMC as well.
However, later it was decided that a final call in the matter would be taken when the tenure of its committees ended.
Now, with the expiry of the terms of four committees and just two years remaining for the BMC elections, the allies, sources said, are keen on power-sharing.
Currently, the Congress holds the post of Leader of Opposition in the BMC, a post that the BJP is now claiming. In 2017, after a new body was elected, the BJP, then an ally of the Sena, had refused to take the post and said it would remain a watchdog in the corporation. After the BJP and the Sena parted ways last year, and the Uddhav Thackeray-led party formed an alliance with the Congress and the NCP in the state, the BJP claimed they are the “rightful opposition” in the BMC.
While Sena has 97 corporators, the BJP is at second with 83 corporators. Congress has 29 corporators, NCP has eight and Samajwadi Party has six corporators.
Meanwhile, Congress has expressed displeasure with the Sena over the decisions on handling the Covid-19 situation in Mumbai. “We have not been consulted or approached on any decisions taken regarding Covid-19. The administration has on its own taken all decisions without consulting the public representatives. Sena also bowed down before administration rather than questioning them,” a senior Congress corporator said.
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