With the Kalyan Dombivali Muncipal Corporation (KDMC) elections throwing up a hung verdict, all eyes are now on the next moves of MNS chief Raj Thackeray.
With 26 corporators under his belt, Thackeray is caught in a Catch-22 situation. He will have to decide whether to support Shiv Sena-BJP or the Congress-NCP combine to form the new civic government in return for Mayor's post.
Shiv Sena-BJP with 40 seats and Congress-NCP with 30 need MNS to capture power.
According to sources, if Thackeray choses to support the Sena-BJP, he will lose credibility. He had campaigned extensively against the "bad governance" of the Sena-BJP in the KDMC during its 15 year tenure.
It remains to be seen if MNS repeats its act of supporting the Sena like it did in neighbouring Ambernath in May this year.
Six corporators of MNS had supported the Sena-BJP to win the president's election in the Ambernath Municipal Council despite the saffron combine having less councillors than the Congress-NCP.
Congress sources said the party will not be interested in taking MNS support. Majority of the 11 independents are supporting the Congress-NCP.