The BJP’s city members seem to be focusing on their plans about what should be done if the party goes solo in the BMC elections. On Thursday, party leaders of North Indian origin, had gathered for lunch at the house of Vidya Thakur, minister of state for women and child development. The lunch was organised by her husband and senior BJP leader, Jai Prakash Thakur, and attended by some 15 top leaders who discussed how, if the party goes solo in the BMC elections, they will have to work hard to mobilise the votes of north Indians.
The lunch was held at the official bungalow of Vidya Thakur. File pic
The lunch, held at the official bungalow of Thakur, was attended by leaders from both the state and city unit of BJP. According to a senior BJP leader, discussions were held on various issues, including things like how to get more votes for the BJP from the north Indians in the city.
It seems while discussing this issue, the topic of the BJP contesting BMC elections solo came up. “We had contested the Assembly polls on our own, and hence this topic did come up, and in such a scenario, how to get maximum North Indian votes for BJP and what strategy to think about, will be discussed soon,” said a leader.
R U Singh, senior BJP leader from the north Indian community confirmed that there was a lunch held at Thakur’s official bungalow, but claimed that it was non-political and a late Diwali lunch.
“It was a Diwali lunch held for some north Indian leaders. It was not a political discussion, however, the topic on what will happen in the BMC election if we go solo, as we had in the Assembly polls, how will we mobilise north Indian votes, casually came up. But all this was just part of an informal discussion, nothing serious,” said Singh. Ashish Shelar, the BJP city chief was present for the lunch too.
The BJP had gone solo in the KDMC elections and was heavily dependent on the Gujarati and north Indian votes.
The BJP in Mumbai has a major presence in the north Indian areas, and depends on them for major victories in the ward level.
Manisha Kayande, Shiv Sena spokesperson, said, “No party can say that they have an exclusive monopoly over north Indian votes. Sena also has considerable north Indian support. Our votes in Bihar that crossed 2 lakh, as everyone can see. People do vote for the Sena from the north Indian belt, and we have our state units in the north Indian belt, even if we don’t have a separate wing here.”
Despite repeated attempts to contact Vidya and J P Thakur, there was no response.