Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday that his Bharatiya Janata Party will not contest the Shiv Sena for the mayor post in Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC), signalling a thaw in ties between the bickering allies.
Fadnavis also said his party will not be in the opposition bloc, but will keep a close eye on the transparency in the civic body’s functioning.
The BJP dented the Sena’s Mumbai bastion in the recently held civic elections, improving its tally from 31 to 81 seats. The Sena, however, emerged as the single largest party with 84 of the 227 seats in the BMC.
With neither getting full control of the civic body, the stage was set for another bout between the squabbling allies-turned-rivals. But after Fadnavis’s peace message, it appears the Sena candidate will sail through.
“We will not put up a candidate for mayor or deputy mayor for BMC,” news agency ANI quoted Fadnavis as saying.
“We will not be in the opposition…we will support the ruling party, but will not compromise on transparency,” he said.
In Mumbai, the Congress bagged 31 seats, while the NCP got nine seats followed by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (7). Significantly, since all four major parties were fighting independently, the vote share of the Independents, who got 11 seats, have reduced drastically.