He joined the BJP on Sunday and, by Monday morning, people within the party had already started feeling uncomfortable. We are talking about former NCP leader Prasad Lad, who also is ex-chairman of MHADA’s repair and reconstruction board. He joined the party on Sunday in presence of the chief minister Devendra Fadanvis. However, many in party feel that he has come in with the desire to take the seat of chairman of Repair board again. Seems leaders in party are aware about it and hence, BJP Mumbai’s chief spokesperson has claimed that he believes his party leaders, before giving new entrants a chance, will consider the work done by the workers who have stayed with BJP in its thick and thin.
For quite some time, the speculation that Lad will join the BJP has been rife; he even contested the elections for the MLC seat where BMC corporators had the right to vote. It is said even then the BJP made its own candidate Manoj Kotak sit, and voted for him. Now that he has joined the party officially, the fear amongst many in the party is that, for someone, when the party can ask its official leader to withdraw from elections, then why can’t they sideline others for accommodating him in a place of his choice.
Lad had contested the assembly elections against the BJP in Sion Koliwada and, also in the BMC, he had contested against the official Sena candidate. However, he claims that he came in BJP because he got tremendous support from the chief minister during his MLC elections and hasn’t joined the party because of any deal.
“I am joining BJP, because, during my MLC elections in BMC, I had got good support from the commissioner. Post that, also I have been working on the same ideas that of the chief minister and also my idea is that to grow the BJP in Mumbai. I have not come here with any agenda, I have to work for the party,” said Lad.
However, a senior leader claimed that the party of late is accommodating a lot of outsiders in the party ranks. “Pravin Darekar and Vasant Gite who came to BJP from MNS, are now in the state executive as secretary and vice president respectively. Similarly, many others are being given places of importance in the party. We have heard that Lad came in with the idea of going back to MHADA. If party does so, it will be demoralising a lot of workers and this isn’t good for the upcoming BMC elections,” said the leader.
Confirming the fear of the party workers, Niranjan Shetty, Chief Spokesperson of Mumbai BJP, said, “I am sure that the party and it’s leadership will think about the existing leaders and those workers who have stayed with the party during all these years before accommodating the new entrants.”