MNS members defect to Shiv Sena in BMC; Uddhav calls it 'gharwapsi'

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The caste certificate of Changez Multani, an independent who extended support to the Sena, is under dispute, but it won't affect the Sena's tally as party candidate Raju Pedanekar emerged second in the polls at Ward No. 62.

The rebellious faction comprising senior corporator Dilip Lande from Kurla, Archana Bhalerao from Ghatkopar, Parmeshwar Kadam from Vikhroli, Harshala More and Dattaram Narvankar from Worli and Snehal Matekar from Ghatkopar was unavailable throughout the day, but suddenly appeared along with Uddhav in the evening for a press conference.

Raj Thackeray-led MNS is on the brink of being wiped off from Mumbai's political landscape after six of its seven corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) defected to rival Shiv Sena on Friday.

BJP's Jagruti Patil defeated Shiv Sena's Meenakshi Patil in Bhandup, while Himali Kamble defeated Nationalist Congress Party's Dhananjay Gaikwad by margin of 4483 votes.

This would strengthen Shiv Senas position in BMC, which has been under pressure from BJP -? the party having few corporators less than the ruling party. Mr. Somaiya said, "If the Shiv Sena does not get rid of its arrogance, they will be reduced to 83 seats and BJP will have 84 seats in the BMC".

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"The Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) and Shiv Sena President (Uddhav Thackeray) personally held so many election rallies". Ahead of the municipal corporation polls, the BJP started inducting leaders from other parties like it did during assembly poll. Hence, the BJP has won the battle in Sena stronghold itself. The Sena further has the support of four independents and the BJP has the support of two independents.

In a dig at the BJP, Thackeray said, "Poaching took place in Arunachal Pradesh and Goa".

"This is not just horse-trading, but a betrayal of promise made to the Mumbaikars". The BJP has to rely on sympathy wave to win polls and bypolls.

The defection has come as a big setback for MNS, whose political fortunes are steadily on decline in Mumbai, its home turf, as well in rest of Maharashtra.

Now, the sole MNS corporator left in the BMC is Sanjay R. Turde, whose moves were scuttled at the last minute for some unknown reasons.

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