BJP Hopes Sena Doesn’t Get Close to 100 To­day

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Krishna.The­var @times­group.com

Mum­bai: With long-time part­ners Shiv Sena and BJP, who ruled the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) to­gether for years and run the state at present, con­test­ing the civic body elec­tion separately, BJP lead­ers are hop­ing that the Sena doesn’t get close to the 100 fig­ure mark on Thurs­day.

The BJP be­lieves that Shiv Sena will not be able to get a ma­jor­ity on its own and will need BJP’s help to come to power in the BMC. Ac­cord­ing to BJP in­sid­ers, Sena would be forced to forge a tie-up if it gets only around 65 to 70 seats.

“If they get any­thing from 85 to 90, then they could come to power with the help of in­de­pen­dents,” said a BJP leader. For a sim­ple ma­jor­ity, a party must se­cure 114 seats.

The re­la­tions be­tween the two par­ties have been strained ever since the Lok Sabha elec­tions. And more dif­fer­ences have come out in the open in the run-up to the civic body elec­tions, with some Shiv Sena lead­ers even hint­ing at pulling out from the state gov­ern­ment, re­duc­ing it to a mi­nor­ity. If the Sena is de­pen­dent on the BJP to come to power in the BMC, then it would be less ad­ven­tur­ous about pulling down the Deven­dra Fad­navis-led gov­ern­ment in the state, be­lieve BJP lead­ers.

The BJP’s cal­cu­la­tions are also de­pen­dent on how ma- ny seats it man­ages to get. Some party lead­ers are en­thused by the 11% in­crease in voter turnout, which is ex­pected to be good for the party, but there are doubts as to whether it can get 80plus seats. “The BJP had 31 seats dur­ing the last elec­tions, even if we as­sume that the en­tire 11% vote in­crease goes to them, does it mean that the BJP would push its tally from 31 to 80 as is be­ing touted? Ac­cord­ing to us, the BJP would not get more than 60 seats,” said a Sena leader on con­di­tion of anonymity.

The BJP, though, is al­ready pre­par­ing for a post poll tie-up with the Shiv Sena. On Wed­nes­day, state BJP chief Raosa­heb Danve told me­dia per­sons that the BJP did not have any ide­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences with Shiv Sena. “We couldn’t have a tie-up due to some is­sues… It was they who broke the al­liance and not us.”

The state BJP chief ’s state­ment in­di­cates a thaw in re­la­tions be­tween the two, con­sid­er­ing that they have been hurl­ing ac­cu­sa­tions at each other for some time now. How­ever, Danve claimed that the BJP will come to power on its own in Mum­bai, Pune, Nashik, Nag­pur, So­la­pur and Am­ra­vati.

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