Maharashtra Assembly polls: Shiv Sena workers not supporting us, says BJP
As the infighting continues, many Sainiks who did not expect an alliance, refuse to campaign for them
All is not well in the pre-poll alliance between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena. Many BJP candidates have complained about Sena workers not rallying for them. Wadala, Andheri West, Versova and Ghatkopar West are some of the assembly constituencies where BJP candidates have alleged that the Shiv Sainiks are not turning up in support of them.
Shiv Sena leaders and followers campaigned for BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections and the same was expected during campaigning for the assembly elections. But as many sainiks were expecting that there wouldn't be an alliance they are hesitant to support BJP candidates. One such case came to light when Sena leaders' were absent during the rallies of Kalidas Kolambkar, BJP candidate from Wadala assembly. The Wadala assembly was embroiled in controversy when Shraddha Jadhav, a Sena leader, was evidently upset with the seat going to the BJP. This has led to local leaders avoiding Kolambkar's campaign and joining Yuva Sena Aaditya Thackeray's campaign for the seat at Worli.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had instructed leaders to help the ally candidate, but a senior leader from Wadala said, "As one of our party members was upset since she did not get the ticket, it was out of question that we would be going all out to show our support to the BJP candidate. We respected our leader's decision but we cannot go and work for the BJP candidate. Interestingly, we have not yet been summoned to do so as well, so our focus is helping Aaditya ji."
Sainiks support rebel
In Versova, Sena corporator Rajul Patel has turned against her party's decision and filed the nomination as an independent candidate for the assembly polls. This has further led to lot of Sena leaders working for her behind the scenes and not supporting the official candidate, Bharati Lavekar during her campaign. BJP sources from Andheri West also revealed that MLA Ameet Satam was unhappy that there is no help coming from the Sena's youth wing or leaders. Interestingly, in Ghatkopar West while BJP has retained their MLA Ram Kadam, he is facing opposition from a local Shiv Sena leader.
Polling booth agents to be scrutinised
Thane police zone 4 has decided to appoint people without criminal records in polling booths to conduct free and fair elections. They held a meeting with election officers and requested help for the same. Election Commission officers have given the green signal for the same, and now political parties will give names of the heads of the booths, and police will only allow agents if they do not have a criminal background. DCP Pramod Shevale said, "We had a meeting for the same. We will hold background checks of polling booth agents who generally belong to political parties."
No. of seats that Sena will contest in its alliance with BJP
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BJP and Shiv Sena's battle for Maharashtra's CM post continues