Civic polls: BJP leaders 'purposefully creating confusion,' says Shiv Sena

Mumbai: As uncertainty loomed over their tie-up for upcoming civic polls, Shiv Sena on Thursday said BJP should designate one leader for co-ordination between them as many BJP leaders were "purposefully creating confusion" over the issue through their utterances.

File image of uddhav Thackeray. PTI

File image of Uddhav Thackeray. PTI

"We have decided that BJP should designate one person who will officially communicate with us for seat-sharing ahead of these elections. We will not talk to any other BJP leader," said a senior Sena leader after attending a meeting of party leaders, including state cabinet ministers, to discuss Sena's strategy for the polls.

The meeting was held at Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree'. A close aide of the Sena chief told PTI that Thackeray asserted that he will take a call on tie-up with BJP even as those present at the meeting favoured going solo for polls.

He also asked party leaders to work towards expansion of Sena at the grassroot level all over Maharashtra. According to a Sena leader, Thackeray told the meeting that BJP leaders are deliberately making misleading statements and creating impression that BJP would continue the alliance with Sena for polls.

Incidentally, state Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar has said in Nagpur that BJP is keen on maintaining alliance with Sena for elections to municipal councils.

At the meeting, Thackeray referred to the bitter experience wherein BJP had snapped ties with Sena just ahead of 2014 Assembly elections. After NDA victory in polls, Sena was forced to accept subordinate position in state government.

Sena is a junior alliance partner in the BJP-led NDA governments in the Centre and Maharashtra. "Sena did not call off alliance (with BJP) before the (2014) Assembly polls. It was the BJP which snapped the 25-year-old ties. Uddhav ji wants the BJP to appoint one leader from the party who will coordinate with Shiv Sena as many BJP leaders are speaking in different voices in current situation," the leader said.

Thackeray also clarified that formation of local outfits at the poll-bound municipal council and nagar panchayat level won't be allowed. "Party will field candidates on the bow and arrow symbol," the aide quoted the Sena chief as saying.

On the occasion, the leaders apprised Thackeray about the prevailing political situation in various parts of state. The four-phased polls will be held for 212 civic bodies, including 192 municipal councils and 20 nagar panchayats, spanning 25 districts, between November and January next.

Though forming alliance with the BJP for next year's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election is still undecided, Sena leadership has decided to focus only on civic polls as of now.

Updated Date: Oct 20, 2016 21:28 PM

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