They claimed to have gone their separate ways before the elections, but politics defiitely makes strange bedfellows.
Soon after the results were out and it became clear that neither party had a clear victory margin, both the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party decided to shake hands again. Till the city went to the polls, both parties had been going for each other's jugular at rallies and across the city's hoardings. But once the BJP cannily decided to opt out of the mayoral race, saying it would rather stay put as the guardian of the civic body's transparency, the party went all out to vote for the Sena's mayor candidate.
Does that mean the two parties have kissed and made up again? History proves it. In the last assembly elections in the state, the two parties parted ways, fought separately but eventually got together to form the government. More recently, in the Kalyan Dombivali municipal elections, the two broke off the alliance and fought bitterly only to come together post the elections.
Are the two attempting something similar in the Mumbai civic body? Both, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray did not spare any effort to malign each other's party and prove themselves better for Mumbai's welfare. Both said they would manage 114 seats on their own strength, but the Sena managed only 84 and the BJP came up to 82.
While speculation raged on whether the two would join forces and rule Mumbai, the BJP played a different game - that it would stay out of the political game and become the guardian of the civic body's transparency.
While a tacit understanding between the two was understood by all, the BJP went all out when it supported the Sena's candidates for both the mayor's and deputy mayor's post yesterday. The two appear to have kissed and made up once again. In the process, the Mumbaikar who had been forced to choose between the two parties, cannot be faulted for feeling cheated.