Nashik: The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Thursday bagged the prestigious post of mayor in the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) with the unexpected support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
MNS candidate Yatin Wagh romped home with 56 votes while Communist Party of India`s Tanaji Jaibhave got only three votes in the 122-member house.
MNS won 40 seats while the BJP had 14 members in the house. The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine with 35 seats abstained from voting while the Shiv Sena boycotted the proceedings.
In the electoral maths, MNS needed the magic figure of 62 in the 122-member house. Besides the BJP members, two others also supported the MNS candidate.
Stung by what it termed as a volte face by its long-time ally, the Shiv Sena criticised the BJP.
Shiv Sena Nashik unit spokesperson Arvind Sawant alleged that its ally, BJP, "committed a volte face at the last minute" and did not adhere "to the requirements of alliance politics".
The development came a fortnight after Raj Thackeray declared publicly that the "MNS engine (its party symbol)" would not be "parked in somebody else`s yard", implying his party would not ally with anybody.
Later, in an unexpected move last week, MNS declared its support to the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI mayors in Mumbai and Thane municipal corporations.
This was followed by the BJP staking its claim to the post of mayor with MNS support.
BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar pointed out that the BJP and Shiv Sena fought the elections separately in Nashik, so there was no question of `betrayal` as alleged by Shiv Sena.
Mungantiwar said the sentiments of the people were with MNS and the BJP respected it by extending support to the party.