[Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendea Fadnavis with Shiv Sena Chief Udhav Thackeray in a file photo.]
Mumbai: Hours after the Shiv Sena announced its candidates for the posts of Mayor and Dy Mayor of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendea Fadnavis said the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will support the Sena nominees.
"We will not put up a candidate for Mayor or Deputy Mayor for BMC", said Devendra Fadnavis.
Simultaneously, Fadnavis also said the BJP will not sit in opposition.
"We will not be in the opposition,we will support the ruling party but will not compromise on transparency", Fadnavis said, according to ABP Live.
Davendra Fadnavis' sudden announcement is expected to end the bitter fight between the two parties which allied together to rule the cash-rich BMC for nearly three decades.
The BJP-Sena relations, as partners in the state and central government, hit a new low in the backdrop of civic elections across Maharashstra, which saw the saffron parties contesting separately and hurling charges at each other.
After the recent split, the Sena has even threatened that it may pull out of the BJP-led government in the state any time.
The Shiv Sena earlier today announced the names of its nominees for the Mumbai two top posts.
"Vishvanath Mahadeshwar will be Shiv Sena's candidate for the Mayor's post and Hareshwar Worlikar is Deputy Mayor nominee in Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)", the Shiv Sena said Saturday.
The elctions for both the posts are scheduled to be held on March 08, 2017.
While Vishvanath Mahadeshwar represents Golibar Naka, Santacruz (E) area in Mumbai, Hareshwar Worlikar represents Worli-Parel area.
In the election held on February 21, Shiv Sena won 84 seats while its one-time ally the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) won 82 seats. The BMC has a total of 227 seats and a strength of 114 is needed to have Mayor and Dy Mayor.
As per the rule, the party with the highest number of corporators can get its candidates elected for the two posts so long as other parties do not come together and put up joint candidates.
The 227-member BMC now has 84 plus 4 (independents) members of Shiv Sena, 82 plus 1 of BJP, 31 of Congress, 09 of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), 07 of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), 06 of Samajwadi Party, 02 of Owaisi-led AIMIM, 01 of ABS 1 and 01 Independent.
After Geeta Gawli, who won as the candidate of the local outfit Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS) pledging support to the BJP, the party's effective strength has gone up to 83, according to PTI.
Meanwhile, Bala Nandgaonkar, former MLA of Raj Thackeray-led MNS, said that his party would be happy if a Sena Mayor gets elected. But the party also said that it wants a Marathi to be on key posts.