The BJP and Shiv Sena which had contested the assembly elections separately have decided to have a tie-up for the Navi Mumbai election which is scheduled to be held on 22 April. Both the parties have arrived at a consensus on this issue to avoid the division of votes and counter NCP. After the Lok Sabha and assembly polls victory the BJP is eyeing the municipal elections which are held in the state. The success in this election is crucial for the saffron party for strengthening its foothold across the state. By having an alliance with Sena BJP also is keen to send a message across to voters that all is well between both the parties. Of late, the relation between both the parties had strained as Shiv Sena used to criticise the policies of BJP through the former’s mouthpiece Saamna. BJP had issued a stern warning to Sena to refrain from making comments against it in media and resolve all differences through dialogue.
“We feel that having an alliance will benefit both the parties. The party workers feel that there should be an alliance. We feel that having an alliance will prove beneficial to both the parties,” said state BJP unit president Raosaheb Danve said.
The BJP has backed Sena candidate Trupti Sawant the widow of Sena MLA Prakash (Bala) Sawant for the 11 April Bandra East Assembly seat by-poll. The bypoll is a prestige issue for the Shiv Sena since Matoshree, the Thackeray residence, falls in this constituency.
Asked about former Chief Minister Narayan Rane contesting as Congress nominee from the seat, Danve said, “Rane would be in a better position to say what fate awaits him in the bypoll.”
To a query on differences over several issues between the two parties, Danve said, “Where two people live, something is bound to happen. However, everything is alright (between BJP and Sena),” he said.
The local office bearers will decide on seat-sharing for the civic polls, he said. Sena will also have a tie-up with BJP for contesting the Aurangabad Municipal corporation election. The Sena is in power in Aurangabad civic body.
According to sources, “The BJP is having an alliance with Shiv Sena to counter NCP which has a strong foothold in Navi Mumbai. The party also has realised that it can’t win every election singlehandedly and will have to rely on alliance with Sena.”