BJP-Sena break-up could impact Mumbai mayor polls

Uddhav Thackeray and Devendra Fadnavis during happier times.

The break up of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra may have an impact on Mumbai's mayoral polls scheduled for November 22.

In the 2017 Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation polls, the Sena had won 84 corporate seats while it's then allied BJP was a close second with 82 seats in the 227-member civic house.

The BJP had then extended support to the Sena and its leader Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was elected mayor.

Mahadeshwar's two-and-half-year term ended in September this year but he was given an extension till November in view of the state Assembly polls held on October 21.

The two parties drifted apart after the Assembly results were announced on October 24, with the Sena demanding equal sharing of the chief ministerial tenure, which the BJP rejected.

The Sena currently has 94 corporators, including six who defected from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. The BJP has 83, followed by the Congress with 28, NCP with eight, Samajwadi Party with six, and MIM and MNS having two and one respectively.

Queried on the chances of the BJP putting up a candidate for the mayoral poll, the party's Mumbai unit chief Mangal Prabhat Lodha said it had not taken a decision on this as yet.

The SP's Rais Shaikh said his party was in talks with the Congress and a decision would be taken soon.

Activist Anil Galgali, who has uncovered several scams in the country's richest municipal body through his RTI pleas, said BJP would be the key in this scenario where Congress-NCP is in talks with the Sena at the state-level.

"In the most likely scenario, Congress and NCP may ask for posts in different committees while the BJP may get the leader of an opposition post if it decides to field a candidate," Galgali said.

The state Urban Development department in a lottery fixed that the next mayor would be from the open category.

The post of mayor rotates between general and reserved categories every two-and-half years. 

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