Raj: MNS corporators were paid Rs. 5cr to join Sena
Attacking Shiv Sena, MNS' Raj Thackeray made a sensational claim that six MNS corporators who had defected to the Sena last week were paid Rs. 5cr each. Even more shocking was Sena's ally BJP reaction! They called it a case of "horse trading" and alleged that Sena had "tried to kidnap four councillors and they have been offered Rs. 2-4cr each." Here's more!
With 84 seats, Sena emerged as the largest party in the 227-member BMC after the February'17 civic polls, followed by BJP with 82. MNS had won 7 seats. Sena was short of a majority, and BJP had extended its support. But, there were disagreements about running the BMC. Suspecting that after winning recent two by-elections, BJP will control BMC's working, Sena had poached six MNS corporators.
After defection of six MNS corporators, Sena's tally has gone to 90 and with support of four independent corporators, to 94. Thus, now it is only 20 seats less from a simple majority of 114, giving it an edge in the BMC, for pushing its own agenda.
Raj accused Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of indulging in "low and dirty politics." He said that instead of "buying out" the corporators, if Uddhav had requested his support, he would've given it. He said he "will never extend the olive branch" to Sena. He also mentioned he would never join hands with Sena and instead "will show the Sena its place."
HT reports that Sena's ally BJP was more vocal. BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said that one Ghatkopar councilor had informed about being offered money and so he had "written a letter to the Election Commission" about this. BJP Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar mocked Sena for indulging in "break-up politics to retain its mayorship." He also alleged that Sena was bribing corporators to switch parties.
Worried about MNS challenging this move under the anti-defection law, Sena insisted that all legal formalities were completed. Uddhav said "Some of these corporators were in Shiv Sena. They had lost their way. They have willingly joined the party for the welfare of Mumbai and the Marathi manoos." He questioned why BJP was complaining about horse-trading when they are allies.
This will be a setback for Raj, as MNS is reduced to one MLA and one corporator in the state. The party, which won 13 seats in 2009 state elections and 28 wards in 2012 civic polls, has been decimated.