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Dismayed, BJP city chief's bahu rebels

After Raj Purohit's daughter-in-law was denied a ticket due to party's stand against fielding kin of leaders, she went independent, as did others in different parties

When the family member of a chief of a political party files her nomination as an independent against the official candidate -- an unheard of crisis -- others are bound to take their cue from that. Or so it appears after BJP city chief Raj Purohit's daughter-in-law filed her nomination against the party candidate from ward number 219. The nomination created a furore, and by the end of day, nearly a dozen sitting corporators and active party members decided to field their wives as independent candidates.


Upset: BJP's Raj Purohit was assured a ticket for daughter-in-law Hema
long ago, revealed a senior BJP leader


According to a senior BJP member, Purohit was assured a ticket for daughter-in-law Hema long ago. "He has harboured the ambition for three months. But media coverage made the party take a strong stand against relatives being given a ticket and Hema's ticket got cancelled. This would irk anyone, as it did her. So she went ahead and filed the nomination on her own," the member said.

'Will retract'
Said Purohit, "Hema was upset so she filed an independent nomination. But she will withdraw it on Wednesday."
It took half a dozen senior party leaders to convince Purohit to get Hema to withdraw the nomination. From Ram Naik to Sunil Karjatkar to Vinod Tawde, senior leaders tried to persuade Purohit to take it back. In the evening, he even rushed to meet state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar. According to sources, the party senior leaders were upset with Purohit's rebellion.

Purohit further claimed, "All those who have rebelled will take back their nomination within two days. If they don't, we will initiate disciplinary action against them."

Even Parag Alwani, general secretary of BJP Mumbai, has fielded his wife as an independent from Vile Parle. "I have been an active party member all my life, but the party decided not to give tickets to the kin of workers, and my wife was denied a ticket. She has worked for the party all this while. The party has given tickets in 12 constituencies to wives of party workers. In Parle itself, two such tickets have been given," said Alwani in an official press note.

Similarly Arvind Bane, the party's sitting corporator fielded his wife as an independent from Tardeo. He had been demanding a ticket for his wife for the last six months but the party chose someone else.

Others in tow
Not only the BJP, its alliance partner Sena also saw some defections. While Raja Chougle filed his nomination independently, Sena's Vinita Insulkar is now contesting on an NCP ticket. According to political observers, Sena managed to control the situation by releasing the names at the last moment. "The people rebelling will back down soon," said Rahul Shewale, senior Sena corporator.

The MNS didn't see too many rebels, except Naseer Sheikh and Paresh Telang.

The Congress had a large number of mutineers. Sitting corporator Meena Desai filed her nomination from ward 182; from Dadar Ashwin Shah rebelled; Dattu Katake is another rebel, his wife is a sitting corporator. Party workers from Dahisar, Borivli, Andheri and Kandivli saw major revolts.

The NCP saw a few defections, mostly engendered by tickets being given to relatives of party workers, but it was minimal compared to BJP and Congress.

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