Pawaskar claims 12,000 followers, Sena says show us 12

Jan 07, 2011, 06:28 IST | Varun Singh

In a bid to show the Shiv Sena down, Kiran Pawaskar, former general secretary of the Sena's trade union, who joined the NCP yesterday, claimed that eight unions followed his suit, taking the number of people following him to 12,000.

In a bid to show the Shiv Sena down, Kiran Pawaskar, former general secretary of the Sena's trade union, who joined the NCP yesterday, claimed that eight unions followed his suit, taking the number of people following him to 12,000.

Pawaskar said that Uddhav Thackeray was the reason he quit the Sena, and justified his decision to join the NCP saying that he was not getting the same respect he used to command a few years ago.


Kiran Pawaskar (second from left) at the Congress head office with NCP's Ajit Pawar (extreme left) and Chhagan Bhujbal

"I decided to quit because I don't have answers to the queries people pose before me nowadays. I am just told to say that I will consult my senior leaders. But they never come up with any answers," said Pawaskar.

He also claimed that he has an eager following, which has opted to join him without any coercion on his part. Pawaskar maintained that he quit only because of problems with Sena's Executive President, Uddhav Thackeray. He did not specify what those problems were.

 Meanwhile, the Sena refutes his claims and maintains that they have not lost anything or anyone to Pawaskar. "If Pawaskar claims that he has got 12,000 members, then just ask him to bring 12 as proof. No one has left the party or are following him," said Vinayak Raut, senior Sena leader.

Countering the allegations of faults in Uddhav's leadership, Raut said, "People need excuses and this is nothing more than an excuse. He was a senior leader in the party for over three decades. But he stopped working for the party. Only his name was known."

A senior Shiv Sena leader, said that it does not matter if the Sena feels that they haven't lost anything or still keeps denying the fact. The truth is that Pawaskar has quit the party, leaving them with limited options within the unions. "Pawaskar had a major role to play in the party and especially the union.
 
His working style was totally Sena's own and he could do things that many couldn't. He was on the top. Losing him will certainly affect the party, what with the BMC elections just round the corner," said the leader.

Incidentally, after walking out on Shiv Sena, Pawaskar held his first press conference at Kohinoor hotel, Prabhadevi, owned by Manohar Joshi. Joshi is a senior Sena leader and represents the party in Rajya Sabha. This camaraderie has created a sense of suspense within various circles, given the conflicting allegiances.

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