Shiv Sena approaches Congress for pact to rule BMC, party says 'not interested'
The Shiv Sena seems in no mood to declare a truce with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to rule the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) . According to reports, the party has approached the Congress for an alliance but the later evinced no interest.
The problem is that both the Shiv Sena and BJP want to see their own representatives occupy the Mumbai Mayor's chair. But the fact is that neither party has enough corporators to reach the magic figure of 114 on its own.
While the Sena bagged 87 of the 227 seats, the ‘big brother’ of the alliance at state and centre won 82 seats. The Congress has 31 corporators. While the NCP has 9, Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Samajwadi Party won seven and six seats, respectively.
A senior Congress leader confirmed that the Shiv Sena did approach the party for an alliance in Mumbai, but the party did not show interest. If they go for a post-poll alliance in Mumbai, then they can easily get absolute majority with 118 seats (87+31), whereas 114 is the magic figure.
The two biggest parties -- Shiv Sena and the BJP -- struggled on Friday to cobble up sufficient numbers to grab the critical post of Mayor.
In a major boost to the Sena efforts, two rebels who contested as Independents, walked back to the party fold, while an Independent corporator extended support.
Party chief Uddhav Thackeray beamed approvingly as this took the Sena tally up from the 84 seats it won to 87, making it the largest-single entity so far in the country's biggest and richest civic body.
It was a huge setback to the Congress, which ruled the state for 15 long years till 2014 in alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Despite having strong party leaders, including former chief ministers Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane and Ashok Chavan, party's General Secretary Gurudas Kamat and Sanjay Nirupam, the Congress fared poorly in the polls to all civic bodies across the state.
The BJP gained hugely in nine other major civic bodies of Maharashtra as well.