The state opposition leader's spouse allegedly campaigned for the wife of a recently-expelled leader, who is contesting against the party's candidate; insiders want action on Tawde

Taking strong action to quell any dissidence within the party ahead of civic polls, BJP recently expelled six of its existing and former corporators, because they all rebelled in some form. However, now the party is in a major predicament. A senior leader's wife went ahead and allegedly campaigned for a contestant in the fray against the party's official candidate. Now, many BJP members are furious and want stringent action against the leader.

Beyond words? State BJP chief Sudhir Mungantiwar accepted that he
has received a complaint against Vinod Tawde. File Pic

The man we are talking about is Vinod Tawde -- the leader of opposition in the legislative council. According to BJP insiders, Tawde's wife campaigned on Tuesday for Jyoti Alwani, whose husband Parag Alwani was expelled because he fielded her against the party's official candidate. He is a former corporator and was also general secretary of the party in Mumbai. He got the axe on Monday along with other party rebels like Arvind Parmar, Arvind Bane, Janak Sanghvi and Vishwanath Mashke.

Party comes first
After the senior leadership decided that no relatives of party members would be given a ticket, even city BJP chief Raj Purohit, who wanted a ticket for his daughter-in-law, had to face disappointment. Later, Purohit's daughter-in-law had filed her nomination as an independent. But under pressure, she withdrew.

"When the party doesn't let a wife contest -- based on the mere fact that she is the spouse of a leader of the party -- and doesn't consider the point that she also is a party member, then why should Tawde's wife campaigning for a rebel be considered an individual's action? A party shouldn't differentiate when it comes to taking steps and that too on similar issues," said a BJP member, who did not wish to be named.

'Grave matter'
State BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar acknowledged he has received a complaint on the matter and is planning to hold a meeting where a few other issues will also be discussed. "It is a serious matter. There's no way such incidents can be taken lightly. Today I am the state president; if my wife campaigns for a non-party candidate, I would be responsible for the act. One needs to understand this and I am organising a meeting to discuss this. I have received a complaint, though not a written one, and I am going to take suo motu action against any act that I feel is not in the interests of the party. Even if I see anything on TV or read it in newspapers, I can take cognizance," he said.

According to sources, some senior party leaders have even complained to Delhi, asking the high command to take stringent action in the matter. "This can't be allowed to pass off lightly. The party does need to take a strong stand against anyone not following its guidelines. We can't have different sets of rules for different individuals. No one is above the party," said a senior BJP functionary.

The other side
When MiD DAY contacted Vinod Tawde, he said, "Whatever I have to say, I will say it to the party president."