Looks like all’s not well between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena’s gathbandan in Maharashtra. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has again created a political stir by announcing that his party is ready to contest the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls alone.
In doing so, he has again targeted Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, saying, “The BJP wants to end the mafia raj in the BMC that a certain family has created.”
Mr Somaiya’s statement is seen as yet another indication that the BJP is heading towards ending its long-lasting ties with the Sena and looking to contest the BMC elections, which will be held early next year, independently. “A certain family has made the BMC a den of mafias and the BJP will end it by contesting the civic polls on its own.
We will fight all 227 seats with the help of other smaller parties. After the polls, the BJP will rule the civic body with a majority,” Mr Somaiya said.
Hinting that the Shiv Sena is responsible for alleged corruption in the BMC, he said, “We want to put a full stop to the massive corruption that has been going on in the Mumbai civic body.”
Reacting strongly to his allegations, the Sena has said that Mr Somaiya has lost his mental balance. “He is being used as a barking dog,” said Sena MLC Anil Parab. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, too, has made it clear that Mr Somaiya’s views are not the official stand of the party.
This is not the first time that the BJP MP has targeted the Thackeray family, alleging corruption in the BMC. A few months ago, he had raised a storm with his ‘Bandra sahib’ comments, wherein he had said that the corporation was in the “grip of a powerful mafia being controlled by a sahib from Bandra”.
“There is a scam in every BMC department. There is a sahib who lives in Bandra. He has two advisors, one his saala (brother-in-law) and the other his personal aide. The sahib takes orders from the duo and passes them on to the mafia,” Mr Somaiya had said. Even though he did not name anyone, it is alleged that he was referring to Uddhav Thackeray, who lives in Bandra.