Senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar Monday said although the cadres want the party to contest the upcoming Mumbai civic polls alone, the state leadership favours an alliance with Shiv Sena to avoid any resistance to city’s development by the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.
“The party cadres are against a tie-up. But, the Chief Minister is of the opinion that BJP should fight the civic polls in alliance with the Sena as the party wants to speed up infrastructure projects that were launched in Mumbai and suburbs in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Mungantiwar, the state Finance Minister, said.
“Some are the dream projects of the CM and may get stuck due to opposition from the Sena, if the two parties fight the BMC polls against each other,” he said.
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“In the end, development is our main agenda and to achieve this, the CM and Uddhavji are bound to take some decision,” Mungantiwar said.
Meanwhile, another senior BJP leader said that the party would demand half the term of Mayor (two and a half years) from the Shiv Sena.
“Before coming to any consensus on an alliance with Sena, we will make it clear to them that we would want half the term of Mayor,” the BJP leader said, adding that this was chief minister Devendra Fadnavis during a meeting of party ministers.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut, however, had said, “Mayor will be from the Shiv Sena for the whole term. We will not accept any kind of permutations and combinations.” Starting today, three leaders each from the two parties will hold talks over seat-sharing.
The BJP has deputed party’s Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar and ministers Prakash Mehta and Vinod Tawde, while the Sena will be represented by party’s Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, member of state legislative council Anil Parab and and former legislator Ravindra Mirlekar.