Mumbai, Feb 23: As the fierce contest between estranged saffron allies Shiv Sena and BJP to win the BMC continued, Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve today said his party may be able to rule the cash-rich body with the support of some independents. “The figures show that we are gaining in the BMC..We may rule (the civic body). Some independents have extended support to us. Once the figures are finalised, we will be able to give a better picture of the BJP’s position,” he said. He said today’s mandate across the ten municipal corporations and 25 Zilla Parishads was directly linked to BJP’s good governance in New Delhi and Maharashtra.
“Last time (in 2012), we had won 32 seats in BMC elections. Now, we have gained significantly and we may win more seats,” Danve said as the BJP put up a stellar performance in the civic and local bodies across the state, counting for which is underway. As per the trends so far, the Sena and BJP are locked in a photo finish contest and either party is seemingly unlikely to garner the requisite numbers on its own to rule the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC). In such a scenario, the alliance seems inevitable, though it is not yet clear whether the saffron allies will get back together or new combinations will emerge.
The latest trends suggest Sena is leading on 84 seats and BJP on 81 in the 227-member BMC, while the magic figure is 114. When asked about the bitterness during the campaign, as the Sena and BJP had contested the polls separately, Danve said, “Everybody needs to forgive and forget the allegations as well as the strong language used during the campaign. Now, the mandate is out and we respect it.” He said the mandate was the result of the collective efforts of BJP leaders and party workers. “We will continue our service to people hereafter as well,” he added.