Mahajan factor returns to BJP

While Rekha Mahajan felicitated winning candidates from BMC on Saturday, insiders say daughter Poonam has been vociferous in party meetings about issues affecting the common man

Since the untimely death of Pramod Mahajan in 2006, his family had largely stayed away from active politics. The one aberration was daughter Poonam contesting and losing the 2009 assembly elections from Ghatkopar.

Taking centre stage: (From left) Poonam Mahajan, Kiron Kher and
Rekha Mahajan during the felicitation ceremony of newly elected BMC
corporators of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party office in Dadar
on Saturday. Pic Shadab Khan

However, this BMC election, BJP got the Mahajan family back to the forefront. On Saturday, when the 31 winning candidates of Mumbai civic body polls from the party were to be felicitated, it was Rekha Mahajan sharing centre stage with big names of BJP.

Rekha was asked to hand over the bouquets to the victors. Also, sources say during all the parliamentary committee meetings of the party held this month, Poonam Mahajan has made her presence felt. "Poonam raised her voice compellingly on issues that she felt strongly about and made it clear that she would be speaking for people in the party," said an insider.

Rekha had even proposed the names of some possible candidates during the elections.

"Yes, I had suggested some names and they were on the basis of the work and time the people had given to the party. As a worker I do feel that those working for the party should get their due," she said.

Meanwhile, at the event that was held at city BJP headquarters at Dadar, Poonam was seen organising things.

"We are happy that the Mahajan family is now back in action. Whatever BJP is in Maharashtra today, it's because of Pramodji and we do miss his leadership. In the last few days, especially during the BMC polls, the way Poonam has been playing a role in the selection of candidates, does remind us of Pramodji. We want both Rekhaji and Poonam to work especially for the women's wings," said a woman leader from BJP, on condition of anonymity.

Even Rekha seems keen on doing more. "Whenever the party calls me, I will be there. I will work on whatever responsibilities the party deems me fit for," she said.

Party Speaks
Raj Purohit, the city chief of BJP, said everyone was happy to see Rekha at the event on Saturday. "We welcomed her and if she wants to do anything in the party, I would be more than happy to assist her at any time. Poonam already is the national vice-president of the party's youth wing. She always has been around, and of course we are pleased with their presence, as they are from the family of one of the biggest leaders that our party has ever had," he said.

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