BJP’s Mumbai chief Ashish Shelar’s term as president is on the verge of coming to an end. Two names as possible replacements are doing the rounds. First is MLA Yogesh Sagar who is popular among the BJP’s Gujarati voters and second is Parag Alvani.
However, many in the party are in favour of extending Shelar’s term considering his aggressive attitude, which is being considered apt for dealing with the Shiv Sena. With Shelar being a BMC veteran, his fighting spirit might help the party in 2017, if it decides to fight the civic polls on its own.
Many in the party are in favour of extending Shelar;s term. File Pic
Shelar claims that he has managed his tenure well, and is happy with his performance and hence, doesn’t want to continue. “I have done my part well. I have been the president for three years now and I am satisfied with my performance. In our party, these decisions are taken at the top level,” said Shelar.
A senior BJP leader claimed that the party does not normally give a second term to its president. However, what goes in favour of Shelar is that he has been quite vocal against the Shiv Sena on social media, whenever needed. “The law states that a leader cannot be reappointed as the president. There is a group in BJP that wants Shelar to continue because they feel that he’s got the capacity to lead the party against the Sena in the BMC polls. Till 2012, Shelar was the group leader of the BJP in the BMC. He knows things well,” said the leader.
Yogesh Sagar, a two-time MLA from Charkop, is also a strong contender. What’s working in his favour is that he has a strong RSS connect. “Sagar is Gujarati, BJP has a strong base amongst Gujaratis and we need someone from that community during the BMC elections,” said the leader.
Parag Alvani has many things on his plate. He was recently inducted in vital roles in various unions of the BJP. He also has BMC experience. In the previous BMC polls, he got his wife elected as an Independent. Another name that started doing the rounds on Monday evening was that of Shaina NC, who is the treasurer of BJP Maharashtra and is considered to be close to Shelar.
Niranjan Shetty, the chief spokesperson for BJP Mumbai, said, “We follow a procedure and as the tenure of the president ends in June, the process will start at the district level from January.”