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Maharashtra: BJP trumps Shiv Sena-Congress in Bhiwandi Mayor polls with a little help from 18 Congress Corporators

The Congress and Shiv Sena alliance have suffered this setback despite having a majority. According to reports, about 18 disenchanted Congress corporators jumped ship and voted for the BJP alliance.

In a major jolt to the Shiv Sena-Congress alliance, the BJP backed Konark Vikas Aghadi mayor candidate Pratibha Patil triumphed the mayoral polls in Bhiwandi Nizampur. The Congress and Shiv Sena alliance have suffered this setback despite having a majority. According to reports, about 18 disenchanted Congress corporators jumped ship and voted for the KVA alliance. The Konark Vikas Aghadi (KVA) was supported by the BJP.

Out of the 90 Municipal Corporation seats, the Shiv Sena had 12 seats whereas the Congress party was the single largest party that had 47 corporators, the combined numbers enough to beat the BJP which had just 19 corporators. However, 18 Congress corporators cross-voted in favour of the BJP, taking the tally of KVA candidate Pratibha Patil to 49 while the Congress candidate Rishika Raka managed to get 41 votes.

On the other hand, the Shiv Sena candidate lost the deputy mayor election to the KVA candidate Imran Khan, who bagged 49 votes. The Shiv Sena candidate Bala Choudhary got 41 votes.

Read: Trouble for Shiv Sena in Maharashtra: Party sees mass resignations after it turned ‘secular’, 400 workers quit to join BJP

This defeat of Congress and Shiv Sena at the hands of BJP in the Mayor poll is considered a major setback for the Maha Vikas Aghadi of Shiv Sena-Congress and NCP, who have managed to cobble up a government in the state Maharashtra after a protracted tussle and fractured mandate.

Following the election results declared on October 24, 2019, Shiv Sena was hell-bent on asking the BJP to honour the pre-decided 50:50 formula of the rotational chief minister. However, BJP denied having agreed to any such formula before the elections, resulting in a standoff between the two alliance partners.

Read: Human Bombs to Forced Sterilization: Here are 10 things Congress must clarify its stand on now that Shiv Sena is its trusted ally

With the deadlock reaching nowhere, the Sena, with its ambitious pursuit to install its chief minister in the state broke the alliance with the BJP and sided with its ideological and political rivals- Congress and NCP, both of which did not have the majority required to stake a claim at the government.

The three parties established a tenuous alliance and formed a government in Maharashtra with Uddhav Thackeray as the Chief Minister while the deputy CM post went to NCP and the Congress party had to remain content playing the “third fiddle” in the alliance and accepting the Speaker’s position for itself.

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