Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena won’t be able to win more than 50 seats in the next elections to the Mumbai civic body, city BJP president Ashish Shelar claimed on Sunday.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has 227 seats.
Addressing a gathering of top leaders of BJP’s Mumbai unit, including legislators and senior functionaries, Shelar said people have rejected the Thackeray camp.
“The Shiv Sena was in power in BMC for a long time because of the BJP’s support. In the next elections of the BMC, Thackeray camp would not be able to cross 50 seats (out of 227),” Shelar said.
Maharashtra speaker delaying decision on disqualification pleas against Shinde camp MLAs on purpose: Raut
Rajasthan polls: BJP top guns hold meetings in Delhi ahead of party's central election panel meet
'Rs 10,000 fine on students for protesting segregation of tables in IIT-B hostel canteen'
The Shiv Sena (undivided) has ruled the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, said to be the richest civic body in the country, for more than 30 years. In the 2017 BMC elections, Shiv Sena won 84 seats while BJP finished second with a difference of just two seats.
“In 1997, Shiv Sena had 103 corporators in BMC. This number came down to 97 and 84, respectively, in the subsequent elections. In 2012, Shiv Sena could bag only 75 seats, but it won 84 seats again (in 2017) because the party was sharing power with BJP in the state,” Shelar said.
He alleged the citizens of Mumbai have rejected the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.
”The citizens trust honesty, but Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray is a big name in the misappropriation of funds,” he alleged.
The schedule of elections to civic bodies in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, is not announced yet.
Notably, during his recent visit to Mumbai, BJP president JP Nadda had appealed to the party cadres to ensure that the next mayor of Mumbai is from the BJP.
Since its formation, the Shiv Sena considers Mumbai as its citadel as it expanded the party base with its son-of-soil brand of politics.
The last mayor of Mumbai before the five-year term of the BMC ended in March 2022 was Kishori Pednekar, who belongs to Uddhav Thackeray-led faction. The state government appointed the administrator in the BMC as elections could not be held before the expiry of the five-year term.
In the 2017 BMC elections, the BJP made giant strides by winning 82 of 227 seats, just two seats behind the Shiv Sena (undivided).
In June 2022, a bulk of Shiv Sena MLAs and MPs rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray and joined the faction led by Eknath Shinde, which was later recognised as the real Shiv Sena by the Election Commission of India.
However, it is believed that the Mumbai-based cadres and the extensive shakha (branch) network of Shiv Sena is still intact and fiercely loyal to the Thackerays.