All eyes on Maharashtra civic poll results

All eyes on Maharashtra civic poll results

With the future of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s civic body polls, the BJP leaders have said that they will not do anything to upset the alliance, irrespective of the outcome.

But a BJP victory in the rich  Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls will take the sting out of the Sena’s acerbic attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The victory will also establish the BJP’s dominance over the regional partner. BJP chief Amit Shah had said a few days ago that things would return to normal after the BMC polls and attributed the shrill exchange between the two allies to “election fever”.

An exit poll projected a photo finish with a slight edge for the Sena. The two partners are contesting alone in 3,210 seats in 10 municipal corporations, 11 zilla parishads and 118 panchayat samitis.

If the Maratha party manages to retain its 20-year hold over the BMC and other corporations, it will be a moral victory for the Sena, which has already threatened to pull out of the Devendra Fadnavis government.

A source in the Sena said they would wait till the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll results are announced before taking a call on the alliance.

Another source said, in case they decide to continue the alliance, a favourable verdict will give a boost to the Sena to flex its muscle and demand the “1995 formula” — junior partner gets lucrative ministries, while the chief minister is from the bigger ally.

The formula also provides for proportionate representation to the ally at the Centre. As of now, the Sena has only one minister at the Centre and their demand for more has not been met. BJP leaders said the Sena has been an irritant from the time the Narendra Modi government came to power.

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