Their eyes set on the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have formed an alliance in Navi Mumbai for the April 11 civic polls.
Though the two parties have been allies in the state for at least two decades, this is the first time they have come together for the municipal elections in Navi Mumbai.
The alliance may also include the Congress as a member so that the trio can take on the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which has made Navi Mumbai its stronghold through excise minister, Ganesh Naik.
In the Assembly elections, the saffron alliance shared two constituencies in the city but lost to Ganesh Naik in Belapur and his younger son, Sandeep, in Airoli.
Sena Member of Parliament, Sanjay Raut, who will supervise the elections, said, “Of the 89 seats, we will be contesting 75 and the BJP, 14.
Our alliance is confident of winning more than 60 seats and securing a majority in the corporation.”
Satisfied with the arrangement, BJP leader Suresh Haware said, “We are happy with the alliance and the seats allotted to us. Division of votes has primarily led to NCP’s victory in the past. That won’t be the case now.”
The Shiv Sena had won 14 seats in the last municipal polls here, but its strength reduced because of desertions to the NCP.
There are talks that the BJP’s lone corporator from Navi Mumbai is also crossing over to the NCP.
Haware said, an understanding with the Congress will be “the next step”.
The announcement of the alliance, however, upset some Shiv Sena workers, who stormed out of the party office upset that their wards were being allotted to the Bharatiya Janata Party.