Though Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar has cleared the air that he has no plans to make a switch, the political situation in Maharashtra remains uncertain and it has created a flutter within the Maha Vikas Aghadi. But the recent meeting between Congress’s KC Venugopal and Shiv Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray was of high importance.
According to sources, apart from opposition unity on the national front, in the closed-door meeting, the duo discussed the possibility of an alliance for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other local body elections. However, no final decision has been made in this regard.
After assuming the office of Mumbai Congress chief, Bhai Jagtap had taken a stand that his party should contest the BMC elections on its own. In this regard, he had even met top Congress leaders in Delhi. But after the meeting of Venugopal and Thackeray, there is a sense that all stakeholders of the MVA may fight the upcoming polls in an alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena.
As per sources close to ‘Matoshree’ (Thackeray’s residence), Uddhav and Venugopal also discuss that if the local body elections are fought together under the banner of MVA, it will help all stakeholders. The final decision will be made by the Congress high command and Uddhav Thackeray.
The BMC elections have been due for more than a year. For the past year, the BMC commissioner has been working as the civic body’s administrator. In the last BMC election, the Shiv Sena won 84 wards and got outside support of the BJP that bagged 82. The Congress had won 32 and NCP 9.
The BMC is the richest civic body in the country, and for more than two decades Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena has been in power here. But after the split in the party and the original name and symbol going to Eknath Shinde, even Uddhav’s outfit is looking for a strong partner to fight the polls. So the Maha Vikas Aghadi contesting the elections as a bloc may get an advantage.
A source from Mumbai Congress said, “KC Venugopal has invited Uddhav Thackeray to Delhi and there is a chance that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi may also come to Mumbai to meet him. There is a possibility that proposal of an alliance for local body elections may get discussed at these meetings.”