BMC elections: Congress plays pricey as Shiv Sena scrambles to seal majority

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 27, 2017

Amid all the possibilities, there is talk of the halfway mark coming down if the Congress, which is down to 32 seats this time, decides to abstain and vote for neither in case of contest between the BJP and Shiv Sena for the post of Mayor.

RSS ideologue M G Vaidya on Sunday suggested that BJP and Shiv Sena should share the Mayor's post for two-and-a-half years each.

"Congress will not support Shiv Sena for claiming power at BMC, including Mayor's post". We are now waiting and keeping track of the decision regarding alliance between the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Mumbai.

Earlier, there was speculation that Sena may seek Congress' support but the latter on Saturday said there was no question of supporting the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had recently stated that his party will not support the BJP in the state if the government is reduced to a minority and dared the Sena to withdraw support.

However, senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam had ruled out such a move.

"The Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) said the BJP would not go with Congress and those who wants to go with them can go, but CM should have said that we won't go with Congress, but will go with Pakistaniwadi Mehbooba Mufti", the editorial said. Nirupam, however, did claim that Sena leaders had been "in touch with" Congress.

Congress sources had said there was strong thinking in the party's state unit that it should consider the helping Shiv Sena out, as a tactical move to widen the rift between the Sena and the BJP.

Sena won 84 seats in the February-21 election to the 227-member BMC, the country's richest civic body. BJP was close behind, winning 82 seats, while Congress was a distant third with 31 seats. One Independent corporator Snehal More announced today that she is "number 85" in the Sena.

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