After face-off, Raj Purohit pops back into poll booklet

BJP city chief sent his resignation after his photo was excluded from booklet; to avoid disaster before civic polls, brochure to be re-released with his photo

After MiD DAY's report yesterday on how Mumbai BJP chief Raj Purohit was missing from the party's brochure highlighting the achievements of its alliance in the city, the picture of Purohit has found its way into its pages.

Sources say that the booklet will now be re-released. The turnabout came after a hurt Purohit sent his resignation to the BJP high command in Delhi, citing ignorance on part of certain factions within the party.
The brochure elaborating the work done by the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena-BJP in the BMC for the last five years was launched on Tuesday, at the BJP headquarters at Nariman Point. It carried photos of leaders like Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya, RPI (A) president Ramdas Athawale and others.



Look who's back: Raj Purohit's photo now finds its place on the booklet
among political leaders like BJP's Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nitin Gadkari,
Shiv Sena's Bal Thackeray, his son Uddhav and grandson Aditya, RPI (A)
president Ramdas Athawale and others

But Purohit's photo didn't find a place on the back cover, sparking a controversy.

"Purohit was so hurt that he left midway from the press conference. He even sent his resignation to the high command in Delhi, which took serious note of it because prior to elections, the party can't afford such a disaster. The party chief resigning on the grounds that people are biased against him would be a major blow that would cost us dearly during the polls," said a party insider.

Vital statistics
If the BJP doesn't fare well this time, the saffron alliance could be in for a major setback.
The Sena has 81 corporators with the support of five others, the BJP 28 with one independent supporting them. With this, the Thackerays' party has a very thin majority over the Congress' 76 corporators and support of seven others. With the NCP's 13 corporators, the grand old party has an upper hand this time, unlike the last elections, when the two had gone solo.

"The BJP doesn't want to be the reason for any debacle. So the high command has taken care to insert Purohit's picture in the book," the insider said.

The booklet was compiled by Advocate Ashish Shelar, group leader of the party in the BMC. Shelar and Purohit do not have an amicable history. It has been noted that the warring factions have tried downplaying the rival leader at various party functions.

Moreover, Shelar was Purohit's contender in the race for the post of party chief during the past election. Controversy surrounded the post of group leader in the BMC as well, as Shelar allegedly offered his resignation and Purohit appointed someone else but had to revoke his decision following a backlash from the rival faction.
Meanwhile, party's observer for the state, Venkaiah Naidu is flying down to Mumbai today to resolve the conflict.

Purohit speaks
The city BJP chief has stayed away from the media over the last few days. Asked if he had tendered his resignation, he did not say much. "I haven't seen the new booklet, but yes, I do think that protocol should be followed in personal as well as professional life. Things are all sorted out now and I do not want to stretch the matter," he said.

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