According to an Indian Express report, a day after the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis paved the way for the Shiv Sena to install its Mayor in BMC, the warring ally hinted there is no threat to the stability of the BJP-led coalition government. “We have now kept aside the resignation letters which we were carrying in our pockets,” Shiv Sena leader and Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam told reporters in Mumbai.
Interestingly, it was Kadam who had said the ministers of his party were carrying resignation letters in their pockets, after the Sena president Uddhav Thackeray broke the alliance with the ruling BJP ahead of the BMC polls last month.
When asked if the Fadnavis was still on “notice period” as announced by the Sena leadership in run-up to the elections, he said, “only Thackeray can answer this query.”
However, today IndiaNewsNet.IN has learnt that some senior Shiv Sena leaders agreed to fund the the last phase of the BJP election campaign in UP and agreed to augment the BJP election coffers with an additional Rs 50 crore in CASH almost overnight. The BJP has undertaken a huge PR exercise in UP and wants to leave no stone upturned to ensure that the Congress-SP combine were totally routed. Speaking to IndiaNewsNet.IN in Mumbai, a very senior Shiv Sena leader said that some leaders agreed to contribute funds and decided to donate Rs 50 crore in cash to fund the BJP blitzkrieg in UP. Thus a secret deal was reached between the BJP and the Sena and even though earlier Amit Shah wanted the BJP in Mumbai to contest the Mayoral elections, the BJP high command changed their stand after the Shiv Sena leaders made their ‘voluntary offer as a gesture of goodwill’ known to the BJP top brass in Delhi.
The Sena is the junior partner of the BJP in the Central and state government. The apparent thaw in Sena’s aggressive stand vis-a-vis the BJP came a day after Fadnavis announced the BJP will not field its nominees for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mumbai in the Mayoral election, scheduled this week. The CM’s announcement of the BJP virtually relinquishing prominent civic posts paved the way for Sena to install its Mayor in the country’s richest civic body.
The Sena has been demanding Mayor’s post by virtue of its numerical strength at 84 in BMC, just two more than BJP. Sena had also claimed support of at least four Independent corporators.
However, given the hung verdict, both the Sena and the BJP could not reach the magic figure of 114 seats needed to rule the 227-member civic body on their respective strength. In an indication of rapprochement, senior Sena leaders attended a press conference addressed by the CM at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai.