BJP pulls out of Mayor race, says will support Shiv Sena in Mumbai's interest

Mumbai [India], Mar. 4 (ANI): In a development indicating a major victory for the Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced that it will not serve as Opposition in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation by pulling out of the race for Mayor, adding that it respects the mandate of Mumbai.

Addressing the media here, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that the BJP will not contest for Mayor or Deputy Mayor.

"At the end of the day Shiv Sena did win by more seats than us, so we respect the mandate of the people. We will not contest for Mayor or Deputy Mayor, nor will we play the role of Opposition in BMC. BJP will support Shiv Sena for the sake of development, and we won't compromise on transparency," the Chief Minister said.

He also noted that the decision was taken by the party heads after cabinet meeting was held at Chief Minister's residence in Mumbai.

This development which comes after the Shiv Sena announced its candidates for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, is a complete u-turn by the BJP in Mumbai which had earlier accused Shiv Sena of corruption.

The election for BMC's Mayor post will be held on March 8 and after the latest announcement by Fadnavis, it is now clear that the BJP which won 82 seats in BMC Elections will not vote in BMC.

Sena's candidate for Mayor is Vishvanath Mahadeshwar and Hareshwar Worlikar is Deputy Mayor nominee.

The results of BMC Elections were declared on February 23, in which Shiv Sena had won 84 seats, BJP had 82 seats, Congress had won 31 seats, Samajwadi Party - 6, AIMIM - 3 seats, ABS - 1, others - 5.

BJP's announcement comes as an olive branch to Shiv Sena, as ties between both parties were severely strained, even before the BMC polls. (ANI)