Three independent corporators may join the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance to help them make the numbers for control of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Of these, Jyoti Alwani and Leena Shukla are rebels who split from the Shiv Sena and the BJP respectively.
If and when these three join the alliance, the SS-BJP-RPI would need just three more corporators to reach the magic mark. "We have approached a number of independents and have got a positive response. We are sure of getting more support than is required," said Rahul Narvekar, spokesperson, Shiv Sena.
Alliance rebels who won as independents pose as easy targets. "When I was forced to contest as an independent, a number of Shiv Sainiks supported me. I don't see why I should sit in Opposition," said Shukla.
Parag Alawani, Jyoti's husband, said: "As of now, we are independent. If we are approached by the alliance, we would consider."
Makarand Narwekar, the sole citizen candidate who played up his apolitical candidacy, is set to subvert it by lending support to the ruling combine. Narwekar, who is backed by the forum My Dream Colaba, said: "The forum is contemplating it. Even if we support, it would be an issue-based partnership. Since a stand-alone independent does not have much clout in the civic body, I would support the ruling alliance in the interest of my ward".
Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli's Akhil Bharatiya Sena is also likely to pledge support of its two members. Alliance leaders are now trying to win over Congress rebels.