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MNS – Independents are in demand

Both Sena and BJP are trying to woo MNS which is likely to emerge as the kingmaker after the fractured verdict of KDMC polls. 

KDMCThe Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal elections has threw up a hung assembly as neither Shiv Sena nor BJP got a clear majority. Both the parties are now trying to lure Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which has won 9 seats and independents. Thus the MNS is likely to emerge as the kingmaker as the party will put forward its demands before Sena and BJP. MNS will have an alliance with a party which will fulfil the demands made by it. The MNS which had fared poorly in the Lok Sabha and assembly election is keen to regain its lost ground ahead of the 2015 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election. Thus the tug of war is likely to continue for some more days. Everything will depend upon whether Shiv Sena will have a tie up with BJP. Both the parties had contested the Kalyan-Dombivali municipal election separately.

According to sources, “Both Shiv Sena and BJP had approached the MNS and are keen to have an alliance with it. If MNS extends support to Sena then it will enable the party to reach the magical figure of 61 seats. They are also interacting with the independent parties whose support will prove vital for electing the Mayor.”

“If the BJP which has won 42 seats manages to have alliance with MNS (9), independents (9) and NCP (2) then its total tally will reach to 62” said another source on the condition of anonymity.

The MNS will put forward the following conditions before Shiv Sena-BJP. It will demand the post of Deputy Mayor for a period of 5 years and president’s post of the standing committee for 2 years.

The BJP has already struck a discordant note by stating that it would like to install its own mayor in the KDMC.

“We had obviously set our eyes on improving our strength in the Kalyan-Dombivli corporation. That could not happen. But we are choosing to look at the situation as a glass half-full. At least we are in a better place now than in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls,” said Nitin Sardesai, senior MNS leader and former legislator.

Sandeep Deshpande, MNS corporator in the BMC, said, “Unfortunately, the election in Kalyan-Dombivli was fought entirely on emotions with the Shiv Sena and the BJP gaining by targeting each other. We were the only ones trying to highlight development, and we will stick to the same agenda even for the Mumbai civic polls.”

The MNS party’s tally has been reduced from 27 to 9 seats in the KDMC. Even though MNS Chief Raj Thackeray had aggressively campaigned in Kalyan-Dombivli but his party failed to make a major impact in the KDMC polls. According to political observers Raj has failed to develop the organisational structure of the party and is still continuing to play the role of a spoiler in election.

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