The BJP and Shiv Sena have crossed swords in the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and Kolhapur civic polls scheduled for November 1, results of which will have a bearing on the future of the ties between the two saffron parties.
Sena-BJP, which ruled the KDMC for several years, have called off their alliance and are contesting the polls separately.
“The contest is tough but BJP has an edge,” a party office bearer said.
Observers say that BJP which did well in the assembly and the Loksabha elections last year does not want to play second fiddle to Shiv Sena in Maharashtra politics any longer.
“It is preparing to go solo in municipal corporation elections scheduled in 2017 to major cities including Mumbai,” they said.
In KDMC, of the total 122 seats, there is no election on three seats while in other two, not a single nomination was received. As many as 753 candidates are in the fray for 117 seats.
Both the Sena and BJP consider KDMC, which has a voter population of over 12.93 lakh, as the semi-final which will decide the fate of the alliance in Mumbai and Thane civic bodies elections, which are scheduled in early 2017.
BJP’s morale is high and the party is seeking to consolidate its gains in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections last year.
Even though BJP has ground support among the people, the party fell short of finding 122 candidates.
“We had to import candidates from MNS, Shiv Sena resulting in lot of resentment among the party’s cadre. Efforts are on to resolve the issue. If not handled well and workers grievance is not addressed, the situation could lead to a white wash like in Delhi,” the BJP officer bearer said.
Observers note that the main fight will be between Sena and BJP.
KDMC is a home ground for Shiv Sena like Mumbai and Thane.