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BJP and Sena likely to contest Mira-Bhayandar civic polls separately

After the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections earlier this year, ruling partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena are likely to have another face-off during the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) elections next month. The Maharashtra state election commission on Saturday declared that the elections will be held on August 20. 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 are likely to contest on their own.

Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who is also editor of party’s mouthpiece Saamana, said the parties may fight the elections on their own. “I believe both the Sena and BJP will not contest the polls together,” Raut told HT.

Despite being in alliance with the BJP, the Sena has been constantly targeting its partner over issues such as the attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims or the Mumbai-Nagpur Super-communication Expressway, an ambitious project of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Another senior party leader from the party, who wished not to be named, also said the party leadership is unlikely to agree for an alliance with the BJP .

Meanwhile, the BJP said the local unit of the party has been authorised to take a decision in this matter. “Everything depends upon the decision of our local unit. If they decide to go on their own ,then the party will not stop them do so,” said Madhav Bhandari, spokesperson, state BJP unit.

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.

Saharia said the process for filing nominations will start from July 29 and will continue till August 2. Last date for withdrawal of nominations would be August 5. Polling will be held on August 20 and results will be declared the next day — August 21.


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