Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday that the Bharatiya Janata Party would not field a candidate in the mayoral elections for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to be held in the next couple of days. This paved the way for the Shiv Sena to install its mayor in the BMC.
This would mean that the BJP government in Maharashtra is safe. Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said on Sunday that with this decision by the BJP, all leaders of his party have now kept aside their resignation letters. The BJP is in power at Maharashtra with the support of the Sena.
There are several reasons behind the BJP's decision. The BJP and the Sena were at loggerheads with the latter threatening to pull out of the state government. The Sena had even broken ties with the BJP ahead of the BMC elections in which it won 84 seats. The BJP won 82 and none of the parties were able to touch the magic mark of 114 in the BMC polls 2017.
While the Sena has given enough indications that it would allow the state government to survive, the final call on the issue would be taken by the party chief Udhav Thackerey. There appears to be a thaw in the relation between the two parties as senior leaders of the Sena did attend a press conference addressed by Fadnavis at the Sahyadri Guest House on Saturday.