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No surprises if the Sena-BJP form a post poll alliance

By N Suresh
January 30, 2017 10:43 IST
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'Nothing will change in the richest municipal corporation in the country.'
'New faces with the same surnames will get party tickets.'
'So the same order, the same money spending systems, will continue,' says N Suresh.

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

The Shiv Sena split from the Bharatiya Janata Party for the civic election in Mumbai was just a matter of time.

The two saffron parties had gone through a few rounds of talks during which its leaders kept firing barbs at each other.

The main fight was over the number of seats each party would contest in the February 21 election to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation.

The Sena -- which has ruled the BMC for close to two decades -- was not willing to part with more than 60 seats to the BJP.

The BJP, riding high on its 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly victories in Maharashtra, wanted the lion's share of seats.

After the alliance ruptured, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray declared that his party had rotted for 25 years in its alliance with the BJP.

Both parties have a history, both parties are opportunists, so it will be a surprise to no one if they strike a post poll alliance.

This was the same pattern adopted by BJP and Sena leaders during the 2014 assembly election campaign.

We saw a long drawn out discussion before the Sena joined Devendra Fadnavis' government.

So far, Sena ministers have not quit the Narendra Modi and Fadnavis governments.

How then are the taunts and allegations made against each other being pursued diligently?

The voters seem to be taken for a nice ride.

There are many who say the Thackeray cousins -- Uddhav and Raj, who founded the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena -- should come together for the BMC election.

Politically speaking, it would be harakiri for Uddhav if he helps revive the moribund MNS.

These political kites are are obviously being flown by MNS leaders to ensure that they stay on the media's radar.

BJP leaders have been screaming hoarse about the lack of transparency in the Sena-dominated BMC. The fact is BJP corporators are part of the BMC administration and decision making process.

BJP councillors have passed many projects and taken decisions in the powerful BMC standing committee.

Crores of rupees have been drowned in Mumbai's floods and wasted in the city's multitude of potholes.

It is common knowledge that many corporators get a cut from the contracts sanctioned.

Contractors, in fact, spend more money on these cuts than on the real costs of the projects.

Nothing will change in the richest municipal corporation in the country.

New faces with the same surnames -- spouses and children of councillors -- will get party tickets.

So the same order, the same money spending systems, will continue.

By then, we will hear that the saffron parties have formed yet another alliance.

The Sena will direct its tirades through the party daily Saamna, the BJP will issue warnings and a mortified smaller party, the Sena, will eventually toe the line.

IMAGE: Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, left, with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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