The wrestling of reins of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) from the Congress would be a hard nut to crack despite the BJP emerging the single largest party in the civic body.
The resignation of Sena Lok Sabha member Subodh Mohite from the party and his inclination to switch over to the Congress, has rattled the BJP.
Sena, which has eight corporators, four of whom too have decided to go Mohite's way, may make it more difficult for the BJP to call the shots. This is more so because the BJP, without the support of Sena and a few independents cannot rule the civic body.
The new development would certainly split the 8-member Sena strength in the NMC that affects the prospects of the BJP. The saffron combine which got 64 seats (BJP- 56 and Sena- 8) in the 136-member House has already been struggling for the magic figure of 69 to wrest the body.
Out of eight members of Sena, four are with Mohite. They include: Bandu Talwekar, Parasram Bokare, Bhimrao Nanandwar and Bhashkar Burde. These Sena corporators even did not attend the meeting, convened by the central party leadership in Mumbai on Tuesday to chalk out a strategy to elect the city mayor, deputy mayor and other posts.
According to available information, Mohite, who was in constant touch with the former Sena leader and Maharashtra minister, Narayan Rane, met the union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Margaret Alva on Wednesday and finally submitted his resignation before the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, this evening which was immediately accepted.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha member from Ramtek was conspicuous by his absence during the visit of the leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam at Ramtek last week. Supporters of Mohite said that the Sena leader was repeatedly ignored and sidelined by the leadership and particularly Uddhav Thackeray.
Mohite was not informed about Kadam's recent Ramtek tour though it was necessary to inform about the senior leader's visit. After learning about Kadam's visit, Mohite himself rushed back to the city from Delhi.
But when Mohite went to meet him at Ravi Bhavan in Nagpur, the Sena Lok Sabha member was allegedly meted out humiliating treatment, supporters of Mohite pointed out.
Earlier Mohite was not even consulted while distribution of tickets for the civic polls at Ramtek and the local party legislator, Ashish Jaiswal was given an upper hand. Mohite insisted for an election alliance with the BJP at Ramtek.
However, it was not possible and Sena not only lost the Ramtek municipal council but also faced defeat in the elections of other eight municipal councils in the district.