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. The development comes after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chided the Shiv Sena for bringing the state a bad name due to the protests against former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri's book launch in Mumbai.
Kalyan and Dombivali are satellite cities adjacent to Mumbai and the Municipal Corporation is currently run by the Sena-BJP alliance. Shiv Sena is all set to contest all 122 seats alone. The KDMC elections are to be held on 1 November.
Maharashtra BJP President Raosaheb Danve told PTI 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. The Shiv Sena opposed the launch of Kasuri's book "Neither a Hawk, Nor a Dove: An Insider Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy" saying there should be no engagement with Pakistan as long as it supports terror attacks on Indian soil.
On 12 October, 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. Fadnavis, disapproving of the Sena's protests, said last evening that it had brought disrepute to the state. "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," he had said. Kasuri's book was released last night amid heavy security.