The BJP could have abstained to facilitate Mr Mahadeshwar's election, but the support is seen as an olive branch extended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis whose government depends on the Shiv Sena's support for a majority in the Maharashtra legislature. Ahead of the municipal elections which the two allies contested separately and acrimoniously, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said he was considering ending his party's two-decade long partnership with the BJP in the state and at the centre.
Despite a show of hands in unison, the tension was palpable between the BJP and Shiv Sena corporators. The former who chanted "Modi Modi" inside the BMC hall were countered by "Jai Bala Saheb" slogans.
The Shiv Sena won the most seats, 84, in elections held to the BMC last month, but the BJP was the big gainer as a close second to the Shiv Sena at 82, its best performance ever. Neither was even close to the 114 needed in the 227-seat corporation to get the mayor's post.
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