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'Fascist Shiv Sena to Lose Relevance Post BMC Poll'
Terming the Bal Thackeray-led Shiv Sena as 'fascist', Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said the party would lose relevance after the February 16 Mumbai municipal corporation elections.

"After the BMC election results, the Sena will become irrelevant," Chavan said, expressing confidence that the Congress-NCP alliance will storm to power in India's 'richest' civic body, whose budget, he said, was larger than the individual budget of 17 states.

"The Sena is a fascist party and I think the difficulty that the fascist elements bring into the body politics of India and Maharashtra are there for all to see," Chavan said in an interaction with senior journalists at his official residence 'Varsha' in south Mumbai.

In 2007, Congress and NCP came very close to forming an alliance, Chavan said. "They settled on a seat sharing number but finally disagreed on one seat. More likely someone or the other from either side didn't want the alliance," he said.

"This time, I had a discussion with senior leadership of NCP. The numbers clearly favoured us. The division of secular votes allowed Shiv Sena-BJP to rule the Mumbai civic body. We took a very conscious decision that we must avoid division of secular votes to oust Sena-BJP from power in Mumbai civic body," he said.

"The leaderhip of NCP agreed and I must thank Sharad Pawar who made sure that we don't bicker on one or two seats," Chavan said. "People (from Congress and NCP) have sensed that power is within their grasp," he said, adding, "we are poised to win the BMC election."
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