MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena is likely to join hands with the Congress-NCP combine to keep the BJP out of power in majority of the Zilla Parishads paving way for new power equations in the state.
Elections for the post of Chairmen of these district councils are scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Zilla Parishad elections in 25 out of 36 districts of the state were held last month. Though the BJP bettered its performance considerably in terms of the number of candidates, the party on its own is unlikely to be able to bag the Chairman's post in more than seven to eight ZPs.
There are at least six other districts where the BJP is likely to get local allies or the Shiv Sena to support it. However, in rest of the ZPs, the Shiv Sena is likely to join hands with the Congress-NCP combine to keep the BJP away from power in the district councils.
Due to uncomfortable local equations, the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP are unlikely to come together in Osmanabad, Kolhapur, Nashik, Nanded, Sangli and Beed.
The Sena has decided to join hands with the BJP in Sindhudurg, to keep former Sena strongman, former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane away from power in the district.
The BJP has a clear mandate in Sangli, Jalgaon, Latur, Buldana, Chandrapur, Vardha and Gadchiroli districts. If it gets Sena's support, it can snatch power in almost all ZPs barring only a couple of districts.
These are the districts like Pune and Amrawati where either the NCP or the Congress has a tight grip and have sufficient seats to grab power on their own.
After the BJP's stunning performance in the Municipal Council elections last year, the Congress and the NCP had joined hands for the ZP elections. However, their alliance too could not prevent the BJP's onslaught.
However, the disgruntled Sena is now likely to give a breather by helping them grab power in eight to ten Zilla Parishads.
The Shiv Sena had recently joined the Congress and the NCP in state legislature for demanding a complete crop loan waiver. But, it ducked at the last moment in letting the BJP government present the budget last Saturday.