Responding positively to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s call for alliance for the upcoming Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad civic polls, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Maharashtra president Raosaheb Danve on Wednesday said his party was ready for a tie-up with the Sena for the two civic polls that will be held on April 22.
Danve met Thackeray at his Bandra residence Matoshree on Wednesday. According to sources, both Thackeray and Danve agreed that coming together will prove to be a win-win scenario for both the parties, as they don’t have the numbers to go on their own, and their defeat will give a boost to the opposition parties that are desperate to make a comeback after a crushing defeat in last year’s Assembly elections. The duo will meet again to discuss the seat-sharing formula, after talking to their local leaders.
The move comes after the BJP agreed to support the Sena in the bypolls for the Bandra (East) seat to be held on April 11, where the Sena will face a challenge from Congress’ Narayan Rane.
For the first electoral contest for the BJP-led government that has completed six months in power, both the parties do not want to take any chances, as they may face stiff competition from the Congress in Sena ruled-Aurangabad and from NCP in Navi Mumbai. Winning the three elections in April would mean people are still in favour of the BJP-Sena.
Although the Sena has been ruling the Aurangabad civic body for over two decades, the Congress may pose a serious threat to it, with their new state chief Ashok Chavan belonging to the region. In Navi Mumbai, NCP leader Ganesh Naik, who has controlled the civic body for 15 years, but recently lost the legislative polls to BJP, is trying to make a comeback.
“Earlier, the Sena got 30 seats and the BJP got 15 in Aurangabad, under the 60:40 formula. With Danve belonging to the region and the increased presence of the BJP in Aurangabad, the party is keen on a 50:50 formula. The Sena is ready for a 55:45 formula,” a Sena source said.
He said the number of seats in Navi Mumbai has now gone up from 89 to 111, and the BJP is keen on equal distribution for the polls.