Ruling partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation are all geared up for a face-off during the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) elections on 20th August.
Currently, the BJP rules the MBMC with the help of Sena.
After contesting the last civic polls together in 2012, the BJP and Sena won the polls. However, this time the two parties have announced that they will contest on their own.
Despite being in alliance with the BJP in the State, the Sena has been constantly targeting its partner over issues such as the attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims or the Mumbai-Nagpur Supercommunication Expressway, an ambitious project of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
In a huge setback for the NCP after former legislator and local NCP strongman Gilbert Mendonca jumped into the Shiv Sena bandwagon along with his supporters and municipal corporators last month, and with the BJP and Shiv Sena going solo, Mendonca will be the unofficial king maker. Though he quit the NCP, he has very good contacts and personal relationship with corporators from both the Congress and the NCP.
Depending on which party manages to secure more seats, Mendonca will be the man who will tilt the scales eventually, say political sources familiar with the situation in Mira Bhayandar
With hope to form an alliance with the Congress and like-minded secular parties, the destroyed NCP is now dependent on the leadership of former MP Sanjeev Naik.
In the last polls, the BJP-Sena combine had won 43 seats and BJP emerged as single largest party with 29 seats while Sena had managed to get 14 seats. The NCP and Congress were on second and third position with 27 and 19 seats respectively. The Opposition parties had contested the polls on their own.
The 95-seat municipal body’s term is ending on August 27, thus it was mandatory to conduct elections before this.
With the announcement, model election code of conduct has also come in to force in the corporation jurisdiction, said JS Saharia, election commissioner.