Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was today elected as the new mayor of Mumbai, with support coming from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Political pundits say that BJP’s support is an olive branch to its ally, as it depends on Shiv Sena for creating majority in the Maharashtra Legislature. This comes even when the BJP had won an almost equal number of seats in Mumbai civic polls. It may be recalled that stakes are always high in Mumbai civic polls, since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is the richest civic body in Asia.
Earlier, prior to the civic elections in Mumbai, Shiv Sena had parted ways with BJP and had decided to fight the elections separately. Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray had said that he was even considering ending its ties with the BJP at the State and Center. However, even when the BJP has come out in support of Shiv Sena in choosing the new Mumbai Mayor, the tensions between the two parties are far from over. In the State Assembly, the Shiv Sena members continue to target the government over the issue of waiver of farmer loans. They can even be seen voicing their protest alongside the opposition.
In the 2017 Mumbai civic elections, BJP gave its best performance ever by winning 82 seats. Shiv Sena had won 84 seats. However, none of the parties were close to the 114 needed to establish majority.