Rebel corporator Shubha Raul confused over which party she belongs to

Oct 27, 2014, 06:53 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Shiv Sena's ex-mayor recently contested state Assembly polls on MNS ticket; but, Raul has not joined MNS officially, nor has Sena asked her to resign keeping in mind they would lose a seat in BMC

Former Mayor Shubha Raul is in a strange position. As a Shiv Sena corporator, she openly rebelled against her party and contested on an MNS ticket in the state Assembly elections against Shiv Sena’s candidate. Now that she has lost the elections, she literally doesn’t know which party she belongs to.

Shubha Raul says she doesn’t know which party to support or oppose and that she will go to the BMC only when things clear up in her mind
Shubha Raul says she doesn’t know which party to support or oppose and that she will go to the BMC only when things clear up in her mind

Raul, corporator from R/North ward (Dahisar), contested against Shiv Sena’s Vinod Ghosalkar in Dahisar constituency. Both candidates lost to BJP’s Manisha Chaudhury, who received 77,238 votes. Now that the elections are over, Raul is uncertain which camp she belongs to.

She has not officially become a member of the MNS, a party which managed just one seat in the assembly this time, and that, too, by importing a rebel from the Sena. However, neither has her party, Shiv Sena, shown her the door, since they do not want to lose a seat in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The Shiv Sena-BJP coalition is the ruling party in the BMC. If the talks over the alliance in the state assembly with the BJP do not fructify, the BJP may pull its support from the corporation, a situation the Sena does not want.

Moreover, Raul is a member of the BMC’s Improvement and Health Committee from the Sena, and the party would not want to lose a seat in these important committees, given the BJP’s victory in the state assembly and its imminent attempt to replicate it in the municipal elections of 2017. Hence, it has not cast out its rebel ex-mayor.

Raul doesn’t know which office to go to work to (Sena or MNS), and is avoiding a face-off with her party colleagues. Sources said senior Sena leaders are upset Raul didn’t stick with the party.

In the past, too, there have been such switches by corporators, Jyotsna Dighe started off in the BMC as a Shiv Sena corporator and jumped ship to the Congress midway. During her tenure, she sat in the ruling and supported the opposition.

She is currently a Congress corporator. If sources are to be believed, Raul may follow this example. When asked these questions, the former mayor confessed she doesn’t know which party she was in and which Thackeray brother to seek advice from, but maintained her stand of contesting against Vinod Ghosalkar.

“I don’t know which party I will support or oppose. I am not yet a registered member of the MNS. I am confused over whom to discuss this with. However, I stand by my decision of contesting against Ghosalkar, be it as an independent or the Sena. I am happy that he lost. I shall be okay if the party debars me from the corporation.”

She added, “I am currently focussing on my family, whom I have neglected over the past few months. I will go to the BMC only when I am clear-headed and sure of what I want to do.” mid-day spoke to an officer from the Municipal Secretary department, who explained, “Unless the corporator resigns, she still is a corporator of the same political party.

Even if the party expels her, she shall continue to remain so. To continue majority in the corporation, a party never debars their corporator in such cases, but only gives warnings at the most for opposing the party and not attending meetings.”

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