Hotelier Shirole had previously contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election, losing to Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi by just 25,000 votes. He is considered one of the party’s most lenient faces. His name was reportedly suggested by party state president Devendra Fadanvis, considered a rival of BJP’s former national president Nitin Gadkari.
The post of city president was lying vacant since January when Gadkari’s Man Friday, tht then incumbent, Vikas Mathkari, fell ill. During Mathkari’s tenure, Shirole hardly gave any public appearances. However, he became active after Gadkari’s hold on the city ended with his resignation from the president’s post following the irrigation scam.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Shirole said that notwithstanding the factionalism in the party, he had received a big responsibility and would successfully take up the challenges to lead the party to the victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He also expressed his willingness to fight the forthcoming general election.