Shiv Sena tally rises to 87 as 3 Independents join party

Mumbai, Feb 24: A day after the BMC polls threw up a hung verdict, Shiv Sena's tally of corporators rose to 87 today with three party rebels who won as Independent nominees returning to its fold. 

This gave a slight push to Uddhav Thackeray's efforts to cobble up numbers but reaching the magic figure of 114 seats needed to rule the cash-rich civic body is still a far cry. 

The development came at a time when both the Sena and its estranged ally BJP which has won 82 seats, are keeping cards close to their chest on the prospects of coming together again to attain power or otherwise.

While Snehal More (Vikhroli) and Tulsiram Shinde (Dindoshi) arrived at 'Matoshree', the Bandra residence of Thackeray, in morning where they were reinducted, Changez Multani (Andheri) extended his support in evening.

The Sena, which has been in power in the BMC for last 20 years with the BJP being a junior partner, is looking forward for another term. It contested the BMC polls separately by dumping the BJP.

Sena is a junior partner of the BJP in Centre and Maharashtra governments.

However, the resurgent BJP breached the Sena citadel of Mumbai and bagged 82 seats, just two less than Sena's yesterday's tally of 84.

It remains unclear whether the saffron siblings will join the hands again or new combinations will emerge to secure 114

seats. 

BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari today said the final decision pertaining to the BMC will be taken by core committee of the party, which is meeting here tonight. 

With the fractured verdict restricting their options, Sena and BJP are trying hard to enlist support of as many corporators as possible to stack up numbers ahead of the Mayoral election scheduled next month. 

Meanwhile, Thackeray reiterated that Sena will install the next Mayor and said he has not yet thought about alliance. According to sources in the Sena, Thackeray will hold a meeting of all senior party leaders and newly-elected corporators at the Shiv Sena Bhavan tomorrow to decide on the future course of action.