Mumbai: Ending a long period of speculation and confrontation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena on Thursday declared they would fight the ensuing local body polls together.

BJP state unit president Raosaheb Danve and Shiv Sena member of Parliament Sanjay Raut announced the pre-poll alliance for polls to 27 district councils and 212 municipal councils. The local body polls begin from 27 November and end on 8 January. Both Danve and Raut said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray wanted the pre-poll alliance to happen. However, the two parties have not yet taken a decision over pre-poll alliance for elections to 10 major municipal corporations including Mumbai in 2017.

Raut, when asked about the indications Thackeray had given last week of Sena going it alone in these elections, said the Sena president had only expressed keenness that the pre-poll alliance should be struck for all local bodies and not select municipal bodies.

“Uddhavji has always favoured a state level pre-poll alliance. Chief minister Fadnavis has also favoured that," Raut said.

More that 4700 seats will be contested in these locals polls which analysts consider a sort of referendum on the performance of the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition.

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