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Mumbai: Six ex-Congress corporators join Shinde Sena

Updated on: 28 August,2023 07:29 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve |

Sources say senior leader unhappy with working style of grand old party’s city prez

Mumbai: Six ex-Congress corporators join Shinde Sena

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde surrounded by the former corporators on Saturday

Six former Congress corporators, including four from Dharavi—the constituency of the party’s city unit president, MLA Varsha Gaikwad—have joined the Shiv Sena faction led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

One of them, Kunal Mane, claimed Gaikwad was the reason why he decided to quit the party. He told mid-day, “I was a one-time corporator while my wife Ganga was a three-time councillor. We have family ties with the Gaikwad family. Suddenly we witnessed a change in Varsha Gaikwad. She tried to hold us back, creating difficulties." Mane added his wife and decided to join the Shiv Sena on Saturday as he appreciated the working style of the chief minister.

Bhaskar Shetty, who was the corporator of Dharavi from 2012-17, said, “No I don't have any issue with the Congress. I like the working style of the chief minister. I want to work for my ward. There are lots of issues that need to be solved. That's why I decided to join Shiv Sena under the leadership of Eknath Shinde. Babbu Khan, another ex-corporator of Dharavi, said, “I don't have any issue with the Congress. I started my political career in the party. I took this decision for the betterment of my ward.”

Pushpa Koli, a former Congress corporator of Sion Koliwada, said, “I don't want to blame anybody. I have not left the party due to any controversy. I want to work for my ward. My ward is a slum location. There are lots of issues that need to be solved. The former corporator of Bail Bazar in Kurla, Wajid Qureshi, and ex-councillor Samruddhi Kathe of the Shiv Sena (UBT) also joined the Shinde camp on Saturday.

Sources within the party said that since Gaikwad was appointed as the president of the Mumbai Congress, dissatisfaction has increased in the party. “Gaikwad is trying to run the party along with four or five people of her choice. This is why many senior city leaders are not happy with her working style,” a source said. Meanwhile, Gaikwad did not respond to mid-day’s calls and messages.

Shinde finds first MVA opponent?

Tukaram Kate, the former Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA of Anushakti Nagar, has also joined the Shinde faction. He is likely to be fielded against current MLA Nawab Malik, whom he had defeated in 2014, in the upcoming Assembly poll. After being released from jail on bail, Malik opted to stay with the Sharad Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party.

Kate, who has a strong hold in the constituency, told mid-day, “I have not joined the party to become a poll candidate. I want to carry out development work. Students in the constituency are facing problems.”

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