Yes­ter­day’s Ri­vals have Lit­tle Op­tion but to Unite and Rule

Sena aware of BJP threat, but num­bers may not favour a split; BJP lead­ers hope­ful of give and take

The Economic Times - - Civic Polls: New Equation - Kr­ishna.Ku­mar@ times­

New Delhi: A hec­tic po­lit­i­cal cam­paign for the rich­est civic body in the coun­try has come to an end two days ago, the re­sults have been de­clared now, but there is still no clar­ity as to who will run the Bri­han­mum­bai Municipal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC). The Shiv Sena and the BJP have to run it to­gether but the for­mer is ap­pre­hen­sive of the BJP’s rise which is lead­ing to some hes­i­ta­tion in the party.

The Shiv Sena has got 84 seats but the BJP has got 82 seats. Un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, the two could come to­gether af­ter the polls and eas­ily muster the 114 fig­ure needed to get ma­jor­ity. How­ever, things are not so sim­ple, the Shiv Sena is aware that the BJP is now threat­en­ing its very ex­is­tence. “The BJP has al­ready jumped from 31 to 82 in the cur­rent elec­tions; if we con­tinue to be in a tie-up with them, then the BJP would wipe us out in the next elec­tions,”said a Sena leader.

The Sena’s prob­lem is that the BJP has al­ready upped the ante and has said that it would want its cor­po­ra­tor to be the Mayor. While a Mayor is just a fig­ure head and has no pow­ers in the BMC, for the Sena it would be an ego is­sue to part with the Mayor’s post to the BJP. The NCP has 9 and the MNS has 7, even if the two sup­port the Sena, the lat­ter would still be short of a ma­jor­ity to make mat­ters worse, the BJP has claimed that it has the sup­port of 4 in­de­pen­dents.

The Sena is the one with all the dilem­mas as the po­lit­i­cal arith­metic is such that it may be forced to go with the BJP in the end. “The other big player in these elec­tions is Congress which has 31 seats; there is talk that they could sup­port us from out­side to keep the BJP out.” How­ever, a se­nior Congress leader said that this was not pos­si­ble. “The Shiv Sena and BJP both are com­mu­nal. The Shiv Sena is in fact an ally in Ma­ha­rash­tra as well as the Delhi gov­ern­ment. Why should we sup­port them,” said the Congress leader. Mum­bai Congress Chief San­jay Nirupam called it a hy­po­thet­i­cal ques­tion on whether the Congress would sup­port the Sena. “We have not been ap­proached by the Sena yet, this de­ci­sion (to sup­port or not sup­port) is not some­thing that I can take on my own. It would be the cen­tral lead­er­ship’s call. The moot point is that the Sena is part of the BJP gov­ern­ment in Ma­ha­rash­tra and at the Cen­tre,” said Nirupam. BJP lead­ers are how­ever con­fi­dent that they would be ty­ing up with the Sena in the BMC. “This will in­volve some dis­cus­sion and it will take a cou­ple of days, but in the end it would be re­solved,” said the BJP leader There would be some give and take. It is bet­ter that the Sena is with us for we also have to think of the sta­bil­ity of our state gov­ern­ment,” said the BJP leader.

BJP lead­ers are how­ever con­fi­dent that they would be ty­ing up with the Sena in the BMC

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