The ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance was in for a shock after it withdrew its own candidate in the election for the M-ward committee to back a candidate from the Republican Party of India (RPI). It received a blow when two RPI corporators voted for a Congress candidate.
Rumours have been doing the rounds of a possible RPI-Sena alliance for the civic polls next year.
Sena was left licking its wounds after it forced Mangala Kate to withdraw from the election to back RPI candidate Babasaheb Bansode.
A senior Sena leader said: “We had ensured that out of the 20 corporators we had the support of at least 10, which included three from RPI, six from the Sena-BJP and one independent candidate. We had even convinced the Samajwadi Party, with its three votes, to abstain from voting. Things changed at the last minute.”
When elections took place on Wednesday, two RPI and two SP votes went to Congress. Even the independent candidate turned his back on the alliance and voted for Congress candidate, Devdas Borse. Borse won with 13 votes.
Rahul Shewale, Sena’s standing committee chairman, said, “The RPI was instructed by their chief Ramdas Athawale to vote for us. But if they refuse to listen to their own leader, then I wonder who they would listen to.”
While Bansode was not available for comment, Borse said: “Even though Athawale might plan his alliances, local leaders are opposed to the idea.”