In a big blow to Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), six corporators of the party have joined the rival Shiv Sena.
This is a boost for the Shiv Sena as the ruling BJP had narrowed the gap to match its tally of 82.
MNS corporators Dilip Lande, Archana Bhalerao, Snehal More, Datta Narvankar, Parashuram Kadam, and Ashwini Matekar joined the Sena in presence of party chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Uddhav has termed the development ‘gharwapsi’ while the BJP has called it horse trading.
This move has not only strengthened the position of Shiv Sena in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but also made a big dent in the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Now, Shiv Sena's strength in the 227-member BMC has risen to 90 which is eight more than the BJP, a senior Sena leader said.
Shiv Sena had won 84 seats while the BJP won 82 in the BMC polls held in February this year. The Sena further enjoys the support of four independent corporators while the BJP has the support of two independents.
The MNS is now left with just one corporator in the BMC.