Keeping Mumbai corporation important for Shiv Sena

Keeping Mumbai corporation important for Shiv Sena

Keeping Mumbai corporation important for Shiv Sena

With changing political equations and scenario, protecting the power balance of the Mumbai civic body is vital for the Shiv Sena.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai  is one of the biggest civic bodies of the world in terms of size, budget, employees and other aspects.

Moreover, it has its own prestige and historic importance. Its budget is bigger than some states. The BMC is spread over 227 wards.  The Shiv Sena runs it with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Shiv Sena is discussing whether or not to join the BJP-led government in Maharashtra and remain part of the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre.  A  key concern of the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is to ensure that all is well in Mumbai, which is the lifeline of the party.

A party or group needs 114 to win the mayoral seat, and – after the 2012 municipal polls, the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI totalled 108 – and needed six more more – which they easily got. The Shiv Sena has 75 and the BJP has 31 corporators. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party could total just 64. Of the others/independents, the Samajwadi Party won four seats. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena won 28 seats.

“Even if the Shiv Sena and the BJP part ways in the BMC, the city government would be saved because other parties would support it,” a political observer said.

Municipal corporations run directly under the control of urban development department, which as a custom in Maharashtra generally rests with the chief minister. “Since the next BMC polls are expected in early part of 2017, the next few years for the Shiv Sena would be challenging,” a political analyst said.

The BMC has a budget of the order of Rs 31,000 crore to Rs 32,000 crore and a third of this comes from octroi, which is collected in toll nakas. The previous Prithviraj Chavan-led dispensation has attempted to replace octroi in almost all the corporations with local bodies tax, but could not do so.

There are chances that the new BJP government may introduce value added tax , which is recovered from sellers at every point there is value addition to a product. 

According to the power-sharing agreement between the two, the Shiv Sena keeps the mayor's post and the all important chairman of the civic standing committee. The BJP gets the post of deputy mayor and a few other civic committees.