The Sena has been in control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the richest in India, for nearly 30 years. In the BMC elections held in 2017, the BJP had made huge strides by winning 82 seats out of the total 227, closing the gap with the Sena, which bagged 86 seats.
Later, six corporators of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena joined the Sena, taking its total to 92. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party have 30 and nine corporators, respectively.
The dedicated Gujarati voters are with BJP and they will not vote for others unless Sena makes some extraordinary efforts. The Sena is organizing several programs to reach out to voters in the Gujarati community. Meanwhile, Muslims and the rest others are voters of Shiv Sena, though the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls are a year away, the Shiv Sena has already pulled its socks to gear up for elections.
In one year around half a dozen leaders from the BJP have switched sides to the Sena, which is likely to reduce BJP’s prospects in several pockets of Mumbai. On February 5, 2020, former Congress MLA-turned-BJP leader Krushna Hegde joined the Sena along with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Juilee Shende.
Hegde, the son-in-law of former Sena MLA and ex-mayor Ramesh Prabhu, is a prominent face to join the party. The next day, the three-time winner from the Borivali Assembly constituency and former BJP MLA Hemendra Mehta joined the Sena.
The BJP has made claims of winning the polls and by inducting disgruntled BJP leaders; the Sena is looking to dent its prospects. Ex-corporator Presila Kadam, BJP leader Anil Kadam, and BJP-affiliated BEST union’s working president Vivek Gholap also shifted to the Sena. Sena has good numbers with them and they have strategically worked towards BMC elections.