In a possible indication of a detente between the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), senior leaders belonging to both parties hinted at fighting the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC) election together, Mumbai Mirror reported.
The report also added that the latest development comes hours after Shiv Sena Supremo Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis came together to inaugurate a portrait of eminent social activist Prabhodhankar Thackeray — the Shiv Sena supremo's grandfather. The two also launched a number of social schemes on Monday.
While inaugurating the portrait of his grandfather, Thackeray softened his recent belligerent stance against the BJP. Thanking the senior alliance for its cooperation in the BMC in the last five years, Indian Express quoted Uddhav as saying, "The BJP worked with us shoulder-to-shoulder, which has helped to make it possible. It would not have been possible without the BJP’s support. So, I want to thank the BJP for its valuable support in the past five years."
However, the Mumbai Mirror report added that Thackeray also took the opportunity to target a section of the BJP who had alleged corruption in the BMC. Fadnavis had slammed Shiv Sena on the last day of the Winter Session of Maharashtra State Assembly.
Hindustan Times quoted the chief minister as saying, “Scams of hundreds of crores in Mumbai’s civic body have come to light. There is no transparency. There is a need to monitor its functioning and bring in transparency.”
Of late, relations between the two NDA allies has not been at its best.
After an impressive performance in the first round of civic polls in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena claimed that linking BJP's victory in 52 seats to demonetisation was foolish. Indian Express quoted the Shiv Sena chief as saying, "If that was the case, at least 100 candidates from that party would have been elected as council chiefs, which did not happen.”
BJP has been constantly raising the issue of rampant corruption against the Shiv Sena. In October, BJP MP Kirit Somaiyya attacked the Shiv Sena over corruption allegations, claiming the party turned the corporation into a "mafia den".
Business Standard quoted the leader as saying, "Name any BMC office, there are skeletons rattling in its cupboards. There is a 'Saheb' who lives in Bandra; he has two advisors: one is his 'saala' (brother-in-Law) and the other is Saheb's personal aide. The Saheb takes orders from the duo and passes them on to the mafia."
The BMC goes to poll in February 2017. While Shiv Sena has been the dominant party, ruling the corporation since 1997, BJP has been its minor ally.
However, after the BJP registered a strong performance in the Mumbai region during the 2014 Assembly election, clamour for the saffron party to get more seats in the 2017 election or to contest alone has grown.
Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 16:28 PM