Shiv Sena has called off its alliance with BJP in Kolhapur in Maharashtra and will contest the upcoming municipal corporation polls there on its own.
The election to the 81-member Kolhapur civic body is scheduled to be held later this year.
The split in Kolhapur comes in the backdrop of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray recently saying that his party is keen on winning the Assembly polls in Maharashtra on its own and that they had extended support to BJP in 2014 elections to avoid political instability.
BJP in Kolhapur has decided to have a pre-poll alliance with Tara Rani group, a local political outfit, Sena leader in-charge of Kolhapur Arun Dhudwadkar said.
The outfit was set up by Congress MLC Mahadeo Mahadik.
“People voted for Sena-BJP in the Assembly polls to defeat Congress. But, the BJP has decided to join hands with Congress which is unacceptable to the Sena. Therefore, we are calling off our alliance with BJP for the municipal corporation elections,” he said.
Dudhwadkar said Sena has sought an alliance with RPI(A) and Shethkari Sanghtana MP Raju Shetty for the polls.
In Kolhapur district, the Sena has six MLAs, while BJP and NCP have two each. In Kolhapur city, Shiv Sena won the Assembly seat defeating BJP by 25,000 votes, he said.
When contacted, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil, who is also the Guardian Minister of the district, said BJP decided to join hands with Tara Rani group since it was a 25-year-old political outfit working for local issues in the city. It has been in power in the local body as well.
“If Kolhapur has to be developed as a smart city, BJP needs such local outfits, well-versed in the local issues, to get power in the municipal corporation. Tara Rani has nothing to do with the Congress. Mahadeo Mahadik headed the outfit many years ago. He is now with the Congress, his son is in the NCP while his nephew is in BJP,” Patil said.