The party wants Sena to rework the seat sharing agreement ahead of BMC polls, according to 2014 elections voters percentage
Even though the BJP is keen to have an alliance with Shiv Sena for the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election but the party wants Sena to rework the seat sharing agreement. BJP has demanded more seats in accordance with its performance in the 2014 state assembly polls. In 2012 civic poll, BJP had contested 63 seats while Shiv Sena had contested 138 seats according to a seat sharing formula. The agreement, brokered by Bal Thackeray and Pramod Mahajan, gives the BJP only 63 seats to contest out of the total 227, effectively ruling out the party’s chance to stake claim to the mayor’s post.
After emerging victorious in 2014 assembly polls BJP is eyeing larger slice of pie which might not augur well for Sena. BJP wants to wrest the control of the BMC which is currently ruled by Shiv Sena. Since BMC is Asia richest civic body, the party wants to create space for itself in the city’s political landscape.
Even though, party workers want BJP to go alone in the BMC polls but senior leaders are in favour of having alliance with Sena. The saffron party had swept civic polls in Maharashtra while Congress bagged second position. Congress party’s improved performance has forced senior BJP leaders to rethink their strategy and go for an alliance with Sena. The BJP is already preparing for the polls, having put in place its organisational structure up to booth levels in all wards.
“Since BJP had won maximum seats in the 2014 assembly polls, hence the seat sharing formula needs a relook. We can’t accept the 2012 seat sharing formula and deserve more seats. Time is ripe. If not now, then BJP will never be able to expand in Mumbai,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
Currently, the BJP has 33 corporators while the Shiv Sena has 75 members. The Congress and the NCP have 52 and 13 members each recpectively, while the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has 28 members in the municipal body.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena is reluctant to offer more seats to BJP as it doesn’t want the latter to gain an upper hand in the civic body election.
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai said, “It’s BJP’s habit to engage us in dialogues and sever ties at last moment to create hardships for us. We will sort this issue by having a discussion with senior leaders from our party.”