A senior BJP Minister in Maharashtra Tuesday said his party and Shiv Sena are natural allies who should put aside their differences and join hands once again to rule the Mumbai civic body, where elections threw a fractured mandate. Chandrakant Patil, who holds the PWD portfolio, also asserted there was no threat to the BJP-led Government in the State.
“BJP and Shiv Sena are natural allies. That is why leaders of both the parties should not make any ‘amangal’ (unholy) alliance and continue their traditional alliance which has been there for the last 20-25 years (in Mumbai),” Patil said.
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“It is obvious it will take some time to come out of the pre-poll and post-poll bickering between the two parties. Even in our homes, if we quarrel with our brother, it takes time to patch-up,” Patil said.
“Therefore, there is no need for anyone (in Opposition) to rejoice (at Sena-BJP fight). The BJP-Sena combine will come to power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). There is also no threat to the state government,” the Minister maintained.
Patil’s comments came in the wake of mounting suspense over who will be the next Mayor of Mumbai with both BJP and Sena, who don’t have majority of their own in the just elected House, eyeing the prestigious post.
Elections to the 227-member BMC threw a fractured verdict with none of the parties reaching the majority mark (114 seats) to get their candidate installed as Mayor.
There were reports that Congress may tacitly support the Sena to scuttle the BJP’s chances of controlling the BMC, the country’s richest civic body which has an annual budget of over Rs 37,000 crore.
Ahead of the February 21 elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena split in BMC, which they had been ruling together for the last over two decades, over allocation of seats and other issues. However, the saffron parties continue to be ruling allies at the state level and also at the Centre.