Is there as much air in BJP’s ‘balloon’ as is made out, asks Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Maintaining its belligerent stance on BJP’s success in the Maharashtra civic elections, Shiv Sena on Saturday sought to make light of that party’s performance in the elections, doubting if there was as much substance to it as is made out to be.

“The balloon of BJP’s success is being inflated. It is a matter of debate if there is as much air in the balloon as is made out to be,” Sena said.

“It is true that BJP’s (poll) percentage has increased. However, it is also a fact that the party has suffered setbacks,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

“There is always ‘hide n seek’ in politics and power play. As a result, the increased percentage is always displayed and the setbacks hidden,” the Sena said.

“It should be accepted that BJP could reach these many numbers (seats) because it has the power in the state and Centre,” Sena, which won two seats more than BJP and has since claimed support of some independents for next month’s mayoral poll, said.

The tally of Shiv Sena, which emerged as the single largest party after the counting on Thursday, has risen to 87 corporators with three party rebels who won as Independent nominees returning to its fold on Friday.

BJP, which notched up 82 seats in the Mumbai civic polls after fighting separately under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is yet to make its stance clear on the mayoral poll. A meeting of the party’s core committee was held at Fadnavis’ official residence last night, but no announcement was made later.

In the bitterly fought BMC elections, Shiv Sena had won 84 seats (now 87), BJP secured 82, Congress was relegated to the third position with 31 seats, and the NCP and Raj Thackeray-led MNS finished with nine and seven seats respectively. AIMIM got two seats, Samajwadi Party 6, Akhil Bhartiya Sena 1 and Independents 5.