Sena’s focus on big-ticket projects ahead of BMC polls


Express News Service

MUMBAI: Expediting a slew of big-ticket infrastructure projects and poaching from the Opposition ranks form the bedrock of the Shiv Sena’s election strategy in the run-up to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls next year. 

The ruling dispensation seeks to ward off the threat posed by the BJP, which gave the Shiv Sena a run for its money in 2017 BMC polls, by clearing infrastructure projects and launching a massive outreach through Thackeray scion Aditya, who has been a regular at BMC meetings in the past few months.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is betting on BDD Chawl Redevelopment scheme to yield rich dividends as locals stand to get bigger houses on a sprawling 93 acres in the heart of Mumbai.  He has set the ball rolling on other projects like coastal roads to connect the suburbs to Nariman Point, while easing bottlenecks. He is slated to inaugurate a flyover, connecting Ghatkopar to Mankhurd, to cut down on travel time on jouney between eastern suburbs and south Mumbai.

Meanwhile, youth leader Varun Desai has been tasked with bringing young leaders from other parties. Through his efforts, Maharashtra Nannirman Sena leader and president of its student wing Aditya Shirodkar joined the Sena. Shirodkar is also a business partner of MNS chief Raj Thackeray. A few days ago, BJP leader and Goregaon stalwart Sameer Desai joined Sena, a defection for which Desai was credited.

“It was a very close match between the BJP and Shiv Sena in 2017. We do not want an encore. Hence, we have developed a multi-pronged strategy,” a Shiv Sena leader told TNIE, adding that winning the BMC polls is a matter of prestige for Shiv Sena. In the 2017 BMC elections, the BJP gave a tough fight to Shiv Sena by grabbing a historical 84 seats out of the 227. However, Sena had managed to pass the post with 87.

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