Shiv Sena-BJP tug-of-war begins for Kalyan-Dombivli mayor's post

Shiv Sena-BJP tug-of-war begins for Kalyan-Dombivli mayor's post

MNS, which could emerge kingmaker, keeps watch

Shiv Sena-BJP tug-of-war begins for Kalyan-Dombivli mayor's post

Both the ruling partners of Maharashtra are at it again. A day after the results of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) produced a fractured mandate, both the Shiv Sena and BJP made efforts to claim the mayor’s post in the urban agglomeration, located 50 kilometres away from downtown Mumbai.

It seems the two parties would continue to bargain hard and the battle for the post would not get over anytime soon. In the polls to the 122-member body in Thane district that all parties contested separately, the Sena emerged the single largest party with 52 seats, falling 10 short of the majority figure of 62.

The BJP ended second with 42 seats while the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) finished with nine seats.  The Congress won four while the Nationalist Congress Party and Majlish-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen got two and one seat, respectively.

Ten winners were Independents/others while polling was boycotted in two seats. Since the party getting the mayor’s post would require 61 seats, the situation has remained tricky with none of the contesting sides reaching the target.

On Tuesday, the Sena and BJP leaders held separate meetings in Mumbai but  nothing concrete materialised.

BJP state president Raohaheb Patil Danve, following a meeting of the party’s core committee, said: “We will follow the nature’s principle and do everything possible to ensure that the mayor is from the BJP.”

Meanwhile, after a meeting of his MLAs, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray told reporters: “Just now as you have told me that Danve has said that the BJP would have its mayor, it is a clear signal that they do not want to come with us....they have spelt out their stand, we will take our stand.”

The MNS, which could be the kingmaker, has preferred to wait and watch. “No talks have been held with anyone on this issue. Though I must say that some people have contacted us,” party leader Nitin Sardesai said.

An editorial in Saamana, the Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, however, hinted at a truce, saying: “There was a lot of mudslinging (between the BJP and Shiv Sena) while campaigning for the KDMC election...but, we need to respectfully accept the verdict given by the people. Whatever happens during election is temporary and we should let bygones be bygones.”

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