The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed to ruffle many feathers in the upcoming state assembly elections. It has not only irked the Shiv Sena, with which it had a successful alliance over the last 25 years, but also its own party workers.
Former MNS leader Ram Kadam is now contesting on a BJP ticket
According to sources, party workers are peeved as the BJP has fielded more than 50 candidates, who were earlier from other parties, including Congress, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). As a double whammy, these rebel candidates aren’t considering the BJP’s grass root workers while preparing for the elections but using workers from their former party, who have now moved to the BJP with them. As a result, the BJP workers are feeling neglected and have complained to the higher-ups in the party.
In central suburbs, the party has given tickets to some candidates, including Ram Kadam who has migrated from MNS to BJP. In Murbad, Kalyan’s rural area, they have imported NCP candidate Kishan Kathore and given him the ticket. Even in rural Maharashtra, the situation is same. For instance, in Bhusawal, the BJP has given ticket to the sitting NCP MLA Sanjay Savkare. Consequently, workers who were happy after the alliance split and presumed that they would get to campaign for BJP are now mostly sitting idle.
“Many of the rebel candidates aren’t even using the party offices. They are running their operations from their older offices. Only the banners have changed now. They have put the BJP banner outside their office. They have their old entourage and decide strategies without consulting the local BJP unit,” said a leader from the BJP’s Mumbai unit, on condition of anonymity.
According to sources, some local leaders even complained to the top leaders about them being neglected. “They allegedly called up leaders at the Centre who are right now in Mumbai to oversee the election preparations. After this, the leaders called up some of the candidates and told them to include the local BJP unit in all their meetings,” said a senior leader of the party on condition of anonymity.
Despite repeated attempts, BJP’s chief spokesperson for Mumbai unit, Niranjan Shetty was unavailable for comment.