Maharashtra Polls: North Indian association warms up to Sena after prez's son gets ticket

Uttar Bhartiya Sangh, with nearly 10 lakh members, has decided to support the Sena in the upcoming polls, despite the party’s sons-of-the-soil stance; president’s son will contest from Chandivli

The Shiv Sena has garnered support for the upcoming assembly poll from unlikely quarters an association representing north Indians in Mumbai.

Santosh Singh (second from right) will contest on from Chandivli constituency on a Shiv Sena ticketSantosh Singh (second from right) will contest on from Chandivli constituency on a Shiv Sena ticket

The Uttar Bhartiya Sangh, with nearly 10 lakh members, has proclaimed support for the party that hasn’t been too kind to it in the past, after the Sena doled out an assembly ticket to the president’s son. Santosh Singh, the son of the body’s current president, R N Singh, will contest on a Sena ticket from Chandivli constituency.

Barely five months ago, the association had sided with the Congress and NCP during the Lok Sabha elections. The sudden proclivity for a party that has lashed out against north Indians in the state several times in the past has raised eyebrows among the Sangh’s members and supporters.

A ‘new’ Sena

However, if the body’s president is to be believed, the assembly ticket has nothing to do with the change of heart. “The Shiv Sena has changed from what it was earlier. We are supporting the Shiv Sena because it is the only party that has given representation to north Indians,” said R N Singh.

Asked who were the leaders that had got representation in the Sena, Singh mentioned Sanjay Nirupam who defected to the Congress long ago. “In the Congress, except for Kripa Shankar Singh, no one ever got representation. Also, when the MNS attacked north Indians in Mumbai, we met Rahul Gandhi, but no action was taken,” he said.

Singh says his word is final and binding and his Sangh will accept it. However, members say they weren’t asked for their opinion. “So, when his son is declared a candidate in the assembly polls, we are now supporting Shiv Sena? This has raised many questions.

The decision wasn’t taken in consultation with members. We would’ve understood had Singh supported the BJP, which supports north Indians. But the Shiv Sena has a history of attacking us. This is a very random decision.”Another leader added that not all of the 10 lakh members would necessarily follow what the president said.

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