Mumbai : The KDMC polls scheduled in the first week of November might see Shiv Sena poised against BJP during the election of Kalyan and Dombiville Municipal Corporation polls, which presently is shared by Sen-BJP in an alliance. This came in as an aftermath of what can be termed as difference of opinion over recent Pakistan-related row, in which Shiv Sena got ferociously involved. Case in point, firstly the most recent Ghulam Ali fiasco, where the legendary Ghazal maestro was left in the fix at the last moment when Sena protested against the Singer and termed him a bud of Pakistani soil. The next followed yesterday when Sena leaders painted the face black of a senior columnist and former BJP adviser and a close aide of Lal Krishna Advani. The person in concern, Sudheendra Kulkarni organized an event for the launch of a book titled ‘Neither a Hawk, Nor a Dove: An Insider Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ authored by former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri. Shiv Sena termed it as an act Pro-Pakistan and protested heavily, claiming that there should be no engagement with Pakistan as long as it supports terror attacks on Indian soil.
Shiv Sena first opposed the launch of Kasuri’s book, then few hyperactive Shiv Sena members threw black paint at former BJP adviser and columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was the organiser of the event where Kasuri’s book was launched. Finally, Kasuri’s book was released last night amidst heavy security, forcing the ruling government to take a stand. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis criticized the act of protest by Shiv Sena and held the Shiv Sainiks responsible for bringing the state a bad name due to the protests against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai. Fadnavis stated – We cannot endorse Kasuri, but can’t let our state turn into banana republic. The rule of law has prevailed. I think the way things have happened has brought a bad name to our state. There could have been better ways to put forth a point of view.
In retaliation, Shiv Sena has decided to go it alone in the forthcoming Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation election and not have any tie-up with the BJP with which it shares power in the state and Centre. The decision was taken last night at a meeting of senior Sena leaders here, a Sena leader said. Shiv Sena has decided to contest all 122 seats by itself. The KDMC elections are scheduled on November 1.
Kalyan and Dombivali are satellite cities adjacent to Mumbai and the Municipal Corporation is currently run by the Sena-BJP alliance.
When BJP was asked to take a stand on this matter, Maharashtra BJP President Raosaheb Danve told media that the party had left the decision on the alliance issue with local BJP unit in Kalyan. ‘We are not going to impose anything on the local unit,’ he added.