As uncertainty loomed large in the BMC polls due to a hung house, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray exuded confidence on Thursday that the party will retain the coveted Mayor’s post, even as he hesitated to give a definitive answer on whether there would be an alliance.
As the results of the civic polls trickled in, Sena was at the top after winning 84 seats in the 227-member BMC, while its estranged ally BJP was close behind at 82. “What is the hurry? Wait for some time. We have not yet decided if an alliance is to be made or not. We will do so soon,” Thackeray said at a press conference. “But I can assure that not only the Mayor, even the future Chief Minister will be from the Sena,” he said.
Thackeray, however, conceded that the party had expected to win more seats. “But, whatever we have won, we have won on the merit of our Sainiks (workers). We are thankful to Mumbaikars who have kept their faith in us for the fifth consecutive time,” he said.
The Sena leader said the party had done better than the last polls as it had won seats even in Muslim-dominated areas this time. “I am still eating victory sweets….yet to decide if an alliance will be struck,” he reiterated.
When reminded of his pre-election declaration that there would be no alliance with any party from now onwards, Uddhav said, “If I have stated my stand once, then an alliance won’t happen, why are you asking this question again and again?” “I have not thought about alliance (yet)….I only know we are number one party,” he said.
Thackeray added that the missing names from voting lists was a serious issue and action should be taken against whoever responsible for it.
Although the Uddhav Thackeray-led party emerged as the single largest bloc with 84 seats, it is way behind the halfway mark of 114 required to control the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).