After losing power in the State, the BJP has focussed its attention on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), also known as Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, one of the richest civic bodies in the country, under Shiv Sena’s control since 1985.

BJP State President Chandrakant Patil has announced the party’s resolve to wrest Mumbai from Sena. “ After the next BMC elections, Mumbai will have a BJP Mayor,” Patil said in Mumbai, adding that the State and the central leaderships of the party have begun preparations for the civic elections in 2022.

The BJP’s aggressive stand comes after its alliance partner Shiv Sena snapped ties with the party and formed government in Maharashtra with the help of the NCP and the Congress.

With an annual budget crossing ₹30,000 crore, the BMC has been a lifeline for Shiv Sena’s political clout. Till the 2017 civic elections, Shiv Sena single-handedly dominated Mumbai civic politics. In 2017, both Sena and the BJP decided to contest elections on their own and even though Sena bounced back to power with 93 seats, the BJP emerged as a major player, winning 84 seats. However, BJP decided not to contest Mayoral elections and supported the Sena in BMC because both parties shared power in the State government.

Now, with the ending of the alliance, the BJP wants to hit Sena where it would hurt most.

With an area of 437.71 sq km, BMC is among the biggest metropolitan cities in India in terms of population size and economy. The city, which accounts for a major portion of India’s international trade and other revenues, has a population of 1.25 crore.

Mumbai BJP leader Ashish Shelar told reporters in Mumbai that with 17 MLAs in the State Assembly and 83 corporators in BMC, the BJP is confident of dislodging Sena from Mumbai civic politics.