Mumbai: After days of vitriolic exchanges with the estranged ally BJP, the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday expressed happiness over the ruling party’s gesture of support to get Sena install its mayor in BMC. However, Thackeray parried a query on whether the BJP-led state government was still on a “notice period”. “Our fight against ‘Bhampakpana’ (hypocritical agenda) would continue,” Thackeray said.
In run-up to the bitterly-fought civic polls, including Mumbai, Thackeray had last month said the Fadnavis government was on a notice period, fuelling speculations about its stability as the Sena is an important alliance partner in the NDA dispensation. Thackeray addressed reporters at Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai after paying tributes to the martyrs of joint Maharashtra movement, along with the newly-elected mayor and deputy mayor of BMC.
On the BJP corporators voting in favour of Sena nominee Vishwanath Mahadeshwar in the BMC general body meeting, who was elected Mayor, the Sena chief said it was really “pleasing”. “We got full mandate in Thane, but fell marginally short in Mumbai (civic polls). But it’s good to have got their (the BJP’s) support in Mumbai,” he said. Thackeray also thanked the BJP government for the progress it had made in implementing the Bal Thackeray memorial project.
“Whatever right is right and we must accept it. I appreciate the state government for moving forward in the right direction in setting up the memorial,” he said. Yesterday, the state Legislative Assembly had cleared a bill paving the way for construction of the memorial in mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai. Mahadeshwar and Hemangi Worlikar, both nominees of Sena for the posts of Mayor and deputy-Mayor, respectively, got a walkover as the BJP had withdrawn from the mayoral race in a tactical move.
In a hung verdict in the 227-member BMC, Sena had won 84 seats while the BJP 82. The next largest bloc in the civic body was Congress (31). However, due to rupture in their alliance ahead of the civic polls last month, the Sena and BJP couldn’t secure any understanding in the BMC until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that BJP would not contest the Mayoral poll
or lay claim to crucial committees in the civic body.
Thackeray, however, evaded queries on the formation of alliances in Zilla Parishads, which went to polls last month, where the BJP has done well. The Sena chief had a dig at the BJP corporators who took a oath of transparency in the civic body today. “We have already been pitching for transparency. We have demanded that all cabinet meetings should be attended not only the state ministers but also by the Lokayukta and journalists as well. This is why I say our fight against ‘bhampakpana’ (hypocritical agenda) of this government would continue,” he said.