On Sunday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in a bid to 'motivate' his party workers ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections stated that they needed to work towards 'coming second'. The NCP leader, whose party is in coalition with the Shiv Sena and the Congress under the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra was all praise for his Sena ally calling it the "number one party in BMC."
"Shiv Sena is the number one party in BMC and they should remain there as they are our alliance partners but NCP should try come second in the upcoming BMC elections," Pawar said while addressing NCP's convention.
Ajit Pawar also clarified that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was united and would in all likelihood contest the 2022 BMC elections together. "NCP workers should not have misconceptions or misunderstandings about our partners because in the coming days we have to contest elections together," he said.
The BJP has also been gearing up for the BMC polls and has already declared its intention to wrest control of the cash-rich local body and elect its own Mayor. In a statement, BJP MLA Ram Kadam stated that his party would now stake claim for the Leader of Opposition post in the BMC. In a veiled threat to the Shiv Sena, he warned that BJP would expose all the corruption scandals in the BMC.
BMC is considered as Asia’s richest civic body with an annual budget of nearly Rs.37,000 crore. Although the Shiv Sena won the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections back in 2017 bagging 84 seats, Sena's arch-nemesis and former saffron ally BJP had exceeded expectations by winning as many as 82 seats. After hectic negotiations, BJP decided not to challenge the Sena on the Mayor’s position. Currently, ruling parties and Aghadi allies, Sena, Congress, and the NCP have 92, 30 and 9 corporators respectively in a house of a total 227 seats.