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Shiv Sena positive about alliance but ridicules BJP’s talk of transparency

The Shiv Sena said it has always been transparent in its dealings in the civic body

mumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2017 00:26 IST
Naresh Kamath
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai confirmed that the party had received BJP’s invitation for talks to forge an alliance in civic polls.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai confirmed that the party had received BJP’s invitation for talks to forge an alliance in civic polls.(HT File Photo)

The Shiv Sena on Friday said it had received the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) invitation to discuss an alliance for the civic polls, which it felt positively about. However, the party ridiculed the BJP’s demand for transparency saying Mumbaiites had shown faith in the party by voting for it during civic elections, over the past two decades.

The Shiv Sena said it has always been transparent in its dealings in the civic body. The statement followed the BJP’s claims to the contrary.

Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai confirmed that the party had received BJP’s invitation for talks to forge an alliance in civic polls. The party leadership will act accordingly, he added.

However, he indicated that the party would not accept BJP’s condition that the Sena must take the blame for the city’s problems.

“The people have been voting for the Sena for years. This is owing to the manner in which we have undertaken work in the civic body,” said Desai.

Over the past few months, the BJP — despite being the Sena’s ally — has been running a campaign virtually accusing the latter of corruption in the BMC. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had stressed two prerequisites for an alliance — an increase in seat allotment for the BJP and the promise of a transparent administration. Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar has blamed the Sena for the city’s shoddy roads and the poor desilting of drainage lines.

The parties that were earlier at loggerheads are now willing to discuss a tie-up. The BJP has submitted an official proposal to the Shiv Sena regarding seat sharing for the ensuing Mumbai civic polls.

According to sources, the BJP has demanded 105 seats of the total 227, while the Sena is willing to concede just 80.

The BJP’s contention is that the Sena should part with more seats, in view of the BJP’s increased strength, which was evident during the 2014 assembly elections. The Sena countered that the assembly results were influenced by the Narendra Modi wave and did not reflect the BJP’s actual strength.

The chances of an alliance received a boost after Fadnavis remarked that a tie-up was necessary so that the Congress did not take advantage of the spat between the parties.

Earlier on Friday, the Sena termed the ensuing BMC elections ‘the Mahabharata war’ in its party’s mouthpiece Saamana and said it had geared up to win another term.

The Sena said that unlike other political parties that display their love for the city before the elections, the Sena had been consistent in its commitment to the progress of Mumbai.

Taking potshots at the BJP-led central Government, it said the Sena stood by the common man. “You may bring bullet trains and Metros to the city, but what about the families displaced by such projects? Do they really get new houses?” questioned the editorial. “What about the people who died waiting in queues owing to demonetisation. Are they also the victims of progress?” it added.

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