MUMBAI: As Mumbai readies for the counting of votes in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election, there are signals that estranged allies, BJP and Shiv Sena, are likely to cosy up back together should the need arise in the post-election scenario.
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After weeks of rancor between the two parties, Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve-Patil decided to visit Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence Matoshree on the eve of the counting, yesterday.
He, however, said the visit was personal. “I went to invite him (Uddhav Thackeray) to my son’s marriage next week,” Danve-Patil said.
As expected that triggered speculation about a kiss-and-make-up between the two parties. However, in further remarks, Danve-Patil said the BJP expected the Shiv Sena to take the lead in restoring the alliance in the post-poll scenario.
The Maharashtra BJP president said the BJP is confident it will capture at least six of the 10 municipal corporations that have had elections in Maharashtra and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said BJP would comfortably take BMC. But Danve-Patil added that his party would wait for the Shiv Sena to approach them for a post-poll alliance in the Mumbai municipality.
“It was the Shiv Sena which opted out of the alliance. Hence, we shall wait for them to come forward if a need for post-poll alliance arises,” Danve-Patil said. The BJP would seize power in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Amravati, Nagpur and Solapur Municipal corporations and would play the role of kingmaker in four other municipal Corporations, he added.
“BJP does not have ideological differences with Shiv Sena and hence we have absolutely no problem in going along with them in the local bodies once the results are out. But, as said earlier, we shall expect them to make the move first,” Danve said.
Shiv Sena too has said it is confident of coming back to power in the BMC on its own. “We conducted our own exit-poll on Tuesday and we feel that higher voting will help us win around 110 out of the 227 seats in the BMC,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Arvind Bhosle told New Indian Express.
Counting of votes for the 10 municipal corporations, 25 zilla parishads and 189 panchayat samitis in Maharashtra is scheduled begin at 10 am on Thursday. Major trends are expected to be out in about a couple of hours, while the majority of results are expected to be out by 2pm.