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Sena poached 7 MNS corporators by paying them Rs 5 cr each: Raj Thackeray

The MNS chief said he had left the Sena in 2006 because of similar dirty politics

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

MNS chief Raj Thackeray

Stung by the defection of six out of seven corporators of his party in the civic body to its arch-rival on Friday, chief today alleged the Uddhav Thackeray-led party played "dirty of money" by paying Rs 5 crore to each of them.

Invoking founder and his uncle late Bal Thackeray, the Navnirman Sena chief said he had left the Sena in 2006 because of similar "dirty politics".

The BJP, the second largest party in the Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), had also accused the Sena of indulging in "horse trading" in the wake of the defection.

However, had termed the entry of corporators to his party as "ghar wapsi", given that they were part of the Sena before breaking away with in 2006 when he had floated the

"Each corporator has received Rs 5 crore from the It is a very low level of and I will never forget it," told reporters.

After Friday's development, the MNS, which once projected itself as a strong alternative to the Sena by playing the aggressive on the "son-of-soil" issue, has now left with just a single corporator in the The had 27 corporators after the 2012 elections. The number dwindled to seven in the polls held earlier this year.

The Raj Thackeray-led party is now struggling to secure its registration as a political party and the space given by the administration to the party in its headquarters in south

"Late never indulged in such dirty of money, when he was heading I left Sena only because of such dirty I will never forget such low level of politics, where you take interest in splitting a party," said.

Trying to put up a brave force, the chief said the corporators could have left the party with pride instead of "accepting money".

The six corporators joined the Sena a day after the won a civic bypoll in by defeating the Sena candidate in suburban Bhandup.

The move to wean away the corporators is viewed as a masterstroke by Uddhav Thackeray, as it helped his party raise its tally in the 227-member house to 90, eight more than the

Political observers say with this move, denied any chance to the to either match the Sena's tally in or even surpass it.

In the polls held earlier this year, the Sena had won 84 seats, and the 82.

The Sena also enjoys the support of four Independent corporators, while the has the support of two Independents.

The Bhandup bypoll victory would have taken the BJP's tally in the to 83, however, it remained 82 due to the death of a corporator from western suburbs last month.

After the Bhandup win, senior leader Kirit Somaiya had said the would install its Mayor in Mumbai, rankling the Sena.

The Sena and the BJP, though allies in the central and governments, do not have a formal tie-up in the civic body.

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 11:09 IST