Resolutely siding with BJP, its NDA ally - RPI chief Ramdas Athawale, on Sunday, said RPI will coalesce with BJP to 'push out Shiv Sena' in the 2022 BMC polls. He said that he will soon be meeting ex-CM Devendra Fadnavis to decide on seat -sharing. Claiming that if Mumbai Mayor will be of BJP, Athawale added that the Deputy Mayor will belong to RPI.
"When BJP will be in power, RPI will be with it. Shiv Sena needs to be pushed out. A meeting will be held and on how many seats RPI wants to contest on will be discussed, I'll be meeting Fadnavis ji. BMC is a challenge for us. But with BJP, RPI's flag will be there too. Mayor will be of BJP and Dy mayor will be of RPI," said Athawale to ANI.
At the recent Mumbai BJP executive meeting, ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said that Mumbai's BJP team will ensure that 'BJP's saffron flag' will be unfurled on BMC building in the 2022 civic polls. Lashing out at its ex-saffron ally Shiv Sena, Fadnavis claimed that power had gone to Sena's head. Stating the Mumbai deserved a better government, he said those who want to serve must be elected.
On Friday, Sena's mouthpiece Saamana said dared BJP to remove Sena's saffron flag from the BMC in the coming polls. Claiming that BJP got connected to the saffron flag only after allying with Shiv Sena, Saamana said that its flag was 'pure, radiant and effective' - in reply to BJP's jibe that Sena's saffron flag needs ‘purification’. Touting its Marathi pride stance, Sena MP Raut has said Mumbaikars would never hand over control of BMC to a party which backs people who had insulted Mumbai, comparing it to PoK.
In November 2019, Sena won both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor polls in Mumbai Mayor polls, retaining control over Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Shiv Sena's Kishori Pednekar and Suhas Wadkar won the Mayor and Deputy Mayor post on November 22, after BJP's Ashish Shelar bowed out of the race. Shiv Sena has controlled the BMC since 1985. Currently, Shiv Sena has 84 seats, BJP had 82 seats, NCP has 6 corporators and Congress has 30 corporators. Prior to separating at the civic level, the saffron allies fell out with the Sena insisting on an equal sharing of CM post for 2.5 years and portfolios, which was refused by BJP, leading to the formation of the Sena-NCP-Congress government.