As if losing ground to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) was not bad enough, the Shiv Sena is now being bullied by its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Sena, on Thursday, let go of its control over the civic Improvements and Education committees and let the BJP take over.
In the past 10 years that it has controlled the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the Sena has not given up charge of these two bodies together.
The Sena will control the Standing Committee, which handles the BMC's finances, and the BEST Committee.
Elections to the Standing and Education committees will be held on April 5 and those for the BEST and Improvement committees will be on April 12.
The Standing Committee, the most important body, has been with the Sena for the past ten years. The Improvements Committee takes most of the BMC’s policy decisions. Mumbai’s property matters also rest with it.
This is being seen as the BJP’s victory in the face of the MNS’s growing influence in Mumbai.
In the 2009 Assembly elections, MNS won seven seats in Mumbai while the Sena had to be content with six.
With the Sena losing its influence, the BJP is trying to gain more political space.
The Sena has 86 corporators in the BMC and the BJP has 29. BJP Corporator, Ashish Shelar, said, “This is our victory and we are happy about it.” Sena leader in the BMC, Sunil Prabhu said the committees were given following talks between senior leaders. “It is not matter of victory or loss,” he said.
The Sena is dealing with infighting. Party corporator from Chembur, Mangala Kate, opposed the candidature of colleague, Rahul Shewale, for the post of standing committee chairman.
“He is a backstabber. He had helped the Nationalist Congress Party candidate to defeat the Sena in the Assembly elections,” she said. Shewale refuted the allegations. Kate threatened to resign but postponed her decision after meeting party executive president, Uddhav Thackeray.