If any councillor tries to join rival party then his candidature will be suspended.
Shiv Sena which emerged as the single largest party in the recently concluded Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election is taking steps to prevent candidates from shifting loyalities towards other parties. Sena has formed a group of 84 councillors and four independents to avert horse trading activities. If any councillor joins rival party then his candidature is liable for suspension. Sena is working hard to install its Mayor in the BMC and is also holding discussion with opposition parties and independents. The party is confident of getting mandate in the civic body. Some independent candidates are already coming forward to offer support to Sena. According to sources an independent candidate from Bandra is likely to support Sena which will strengthen the party further. If this candidate joins Sena then its tally will rise to 89 seats.
Both Sena and BJP are competing with each other to stake claim for the Mayor’s post in BMC. Sena has won 84 seats whereas BJP has improved its tally from 31 to 82. However both parties lack numbers to reach the magic figure of 114 seats to run the BMC which is the largest civic body of the nation. Therefore both parties have formed a group of their councillors to prevent horse trading activities. Sena is already worried that BJP may try to woo some of its candidates by offering them lucrative posts.
The party has already registered its 84 councillors and four independent candidates in Navi Mumbai Konkan divisional office. The 88 members will be considered as a single group. Thus Sena will keep a close watch on candidates who are trying to switch loyalties. If any candidate tries to join rival party then his candidature will become void.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai said, “Shiv Sena’s Mayor will be installed in the BMC. The group of councillor was formed to prevent candidates from joining rival parties. However we are confident that we will win the floor test.”
Before BMC election Sena was confident of winning 114 seats and had severed ties with BJP to contest the civic body polls singlehandedly. The party also had launched scathing attacking against its alliance partner and raised questions against its mode of functioning. However after the declaration of results the gap between Sena and BJP has narrowed down which has put the former in a state of bother.
Sena is rethinking about its decision to withdraw support to the Fadnavis government. BJP’s good performance in the BMC polls has forced Sena leadership to rethink about its strategy to pull out of the government.
According to sources from Sena, “If we quit the government, then it may lead to mid-term polls and the BJP will win more seats and emerge stronger. If BJP’s performance improves then it will call the shots in the state.”