After the bitter tussle for control of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation, the Shiv Sena and the BJP on Saturday sealed an alliance deal.
The Shiv Sena, with its 52 seats, got the upper hand while deciding the power-sharing formula, and will have its mayor at the helm of the KDMC for four years. The BJP, which won 42 seats, will hold the mayor’s post for one year.
The allies had decided to join hands a day earlier, but the power-sharing formula was proving to be a problem, as both the Sena and the BJP were eyeing the mayor’s post. On Saturday, both parties filed their nominations for the post, the elections for which are slated for Monday.
The power-sharing deal was chalked out by BJP leader and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, and by Sena leader and MSRDC minister Eknath Shinde, the two ministers nominated from their parties to hold talks. As per the formula, the Sena will hold the mayor’s post for the first two-and-a-half years, after which a BJP mayor will take over, before the post goes back to the Sena.
The deputy mayor’s post will be held by the BJP for four years, and the Sena for a year.
The other important post in the civic body — the standing committee chairman — will also be shared by the two parties. A BJP corporator will fill the post for the first two years, followed by a Sena corporator for the next two years.
The decision on who will hold this post on the fifth year will be finalised by CM Devendra Fadnavis and the Sena chief.
“We have decided to accept the very clear mandate of the citizens of Kalyan and Dombivli to the BJP-Sena. In our five-year tenure, we will stay together and develop the city. In the coming days, we will sit together and work out an agenda for the civic body. Kalyan and Dombivli will be developed as smart cities, under PM Narendra Modi’s vision,” said Raosaheb Danve, BJP state president
Danve and Sena leader and industries minister Subhash Desai held a press conference at the BJP office in Dadar late on Saturday evening to announce the power-sharing formula.
The Sena’s alliance with the BJP also means Uddhav Thackeray has chosen not to join hands with cousin Raj, whose party, the MNS got 9 seats – the exact number the Sena needed for a simple majority in the civic body.
A section of top Sena leaders were of the opinion the party should not give any chance for MNS to gain ground ahead of the 2017 Mumbai civic polls, seen as important for Sena.
The Sena and MNS share the same voter-base. The Sena Sena leadership did not want to affect his party’s alliance in the state.
In the one year after the BJP-Sena government came to power in the state, elections to four civic corporations have been held – Aurangabad, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli and Kolhapur.
The BJP has not managed to win any of these civic bodies on its own. The Sena emerged the single largest party, both in Aurangabad and Kalyan, while the NCP retained Navi Mumbai and the Congress-NCP won Kolhapur.
For now, the saffron allies have worked out a compromise for the post-poll alliance in the KDMC, but the rivalry between the parties is set to continue in the coming two years. In 2017, 22 of 33 district bodies and all major cities, including Nagpur, Nasik, Pune and finally Mumbai will go to polls.