A day after the Kalyan Dombivli civic polls saw the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) make significant gains, both parties remained defiant and refused to take the first step towards forming an alliance even as there were indications that the two sides had not ruled out coming together in Kalyan to share power.
In the results announced on Monday, while the Sena came out as the single largest party with 52 seats, the BJP finished a close second with 42 seats. Both, however, fell short of the halfway mark of 61. Both parties have been trying to woo independents and smaller parties to their side and claim that they have the support of five or six such corporators each.
The Sena, on Tuesday, claimed that it had got 58 corporators, while the BJP too claimed that it had 48 corporators backing it.
Sources said both parties were trying to explore the possibility of winning power on their own. If that was not possible, they wanted to beef up their numbers before going to the negotiation table with the other. The day, however, saw public posturing by both sides. State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve said KalyanDombivli would get a BJP mayor.
“We will try and get our mayor in both civic bodies. All options are open but we will prefer our natural allies,” he said.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray reacted by saying, “KalyanDombivli will definitely have a Sena mayor. Danve’s statement shows that the BJP has decided which way it wants to go. If that is the case, the Sena is ready to go it alone.”
However, a Sena leader said while the party was considering cobbling up a non-BJP, non-MNS alliance, there was the fear of it being an unstable alliance. “We are naturally weary of both the MNS and BJP. But, if we have to go with one of the two, then we are more likely to go with the BJP,” said a senior Sena leader.
Sources in the BJP told HT that the party did not want to stretch the quarrel with the Sena and was open to having an alliance with the party in Kalyan.
“The Sena is our preferred ally. And, we are hoping that we can stitch together an alliance in Kalyan, but this can be done only if the Sena recognises that our strength in the city has increased,” said a party leader.