Political lines are being redrawn in Malegaon, with the BJP trying to ally with a cleric-led tie-up between the Nationalist Congress Party and Janata Dal in the Malegaon Municipal Corporation. The BJP is also in talks with seven corporators elected on AIMIM tickets to be part of a grand alliance. The move comes amid of a
The move comes amid of a first-of-its kind alliance between the Congress and Shiv Sena in the upcoming mayoral elections in Muslim-dominated Malegaon on June 14. “We have proposed an alliance with Mufti Ismail (the cleric). According to the plan, the NCP-JD alliance will put up a candidate for the post of mayor while the BJP will contest the seat of deputy mayor,” Malegaon city BJP president Sunil Gaikwad said.
The BJP, since inception of the Malegaon Municipal corporation in 2002, had a negligible presence in the city. It had only one corporator in 2002 and no representation in the past two elections. However, in the elections last month, the BJP had made a focused attempt to find a footing in Malegaon by contesting 55 seats and putting up 27 Muslim candidates.
The BJP had won nine seats in the 84-seat house in Malegaon. However, none of its Muslim candidates won. Mufti Ismail had become a force to reckon with in Malegaon following the 2006 blasts after he floated Kaumi Mahaz, tapping into local Muslim resentment.