Who will don the mantle of the Opposition party in the newly constituted general body of the BMC?
This question is still unanswered as the Bharatiya Janata Party has refused to accept the position. And so the first general body meeting of the BMC might take place without any official Opposition party. If not the BJP, then this position might go to the Congress. However, the Shiv Sena, the leading party in the BMC has decided that if the BJP refuses to accept the role of Opposition, then that post will not go to the Congress. Instead, group leaders will run the meetings.
Shiv Sena has bagged all the major posts in BMC - the mayor, deputy mayor, standing committee, improvement committee, BEST committee and committees' chairmen. With the help of independent candidates, Shiv Sena has become the leading party with 88 corporators and the BJP, second leading party with 84 corporators.
According to the BMC rules, the party with the next highest number of members becomes the Opposition party but the BJP is not ready to accept the responsibility. While the Congress could accept this role, there is no such provision in the BMC's regulations. "The mayor has all the rights to decide the Opposition party and most likely he will give it to the Congress," said BJP group leader Manoj Kotak.
BJP is not only criticising the Congress but the Shiv Sena as well. But the latter has decided not to give the opposition party position to any of the parties.
If the BMC standing committee meetings and general body meetings do take place without an official Opposition, history will have been made.