Shiv Sena moves to guard against defection

Sena has claimed that some Independent corporators were with it and have taken its tally to 89.

They would be compelled to form an alliance between them, or rely on the direct or indirect support of the other major parties like Congress (31), Nationalist Congress Party (nine), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (seven), Samajwadi Party (six), AIMIM (two), one elected from a local party and independents (five).

Kamat's bombshell came a day after back-end efforts were believed to be underway in Maharashtra Congress to prop up the Shiv Sena for bagging the crucial post of Mayor if its tie-up with the BJP failed to materialize. "If you recall, Saamanawrote an editorial during the election campaign criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for blaming the 60-year rule of Congress and credited the Congress with India's development so far". This is because the Sena has now a strength 88 members - 84 members and 4 Independents who have already pledged their support to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, as against the BJP's strength of 86 (82 members of its own plus four Independents).

First, the Sena will walk away with the Mayor's post in the event of a contest with the BJP.

Yashwant Jadhav has been made the group leader of the Sena corporators. Secondly, the Sena may consider voting against the Stage Government in the no-confidence motion likely to be brought by the Congress-led Opposition in the State Assembly, in the event of the BJP not supporting the Sena candidate unconditionally in the BMC polls. Soon, other parties will also get their corporators registered.

Congress leader Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan had said yesterday that all options, including a no-confidence motion, are open before the party. Since 2007, the ABS has supported the Shiv Sena in the civic body in return for memberships to various committees and chairmanship of a few committees, said a Sena leader.

Though Sena, a junior partner of the BJP at the Centre and the state, had contested the civic polls after dumping it, anticipating a bumper harvest in terms of number of seats, however, the BMC polls threw up a hung verdict.

The budget session of the state legislature begins on March 6.

Meanwhile, taking a dig, Tatkare said the Congress should spell its stand on whether it will support Sena for installing Mayor.

Devendra Fadnavis discussed the issue of next Mumbai mayor during his meeting with PM Modi.

  • Leroy Wright