In a setback to the Shiv Sena, 28 corporators and 200 party workers have resigned after disagreement over the candidate for the Kalyan (East) constituency in the Maharashtra assembly polls.
Under a seat-sharing agreement, BJP’s Ganpat Gaikwad is the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate in Kalyan (East). Gaikwad is a two-time MLA.
A section of Sena workers are unhappy over the seat going to the BJP and allege that Gaikwad has done little for the constituency.
The workers and corporators have sent their resignation to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray citing “unhappiness over the distribution of seats”.
They wanted Dhananjay Bodare of the Shiv Sena to be chosen as the candidate. Bodare is an electrical engineer and has been associated with the Shiv Sena for the last 27 years.
After Gaikwad was declared as the BJP-Sena alliance’s candidate, Bodare rebelled against his party and is now contesting as an Independent candidate in Kalyan (East).
“He (Gaikwad) is the sitting MLA and has not done a single thing for the constituency. Since he had failed to work efficiently we thought the alliance will give others a chance. This is why we all have jointly resigned from the party and we will support Bodare in the elections,” said Sharad Patil, a Sena leader from Kalyan (East).
The BJP and Shiv Sena have sealed a seat-sharing pact in Maharashtra after weeks of disagreement over the exact contours of the deal. The Sena had initially sought equal number of seats but finally settled for 124 of the 288 seats. The BJP will be contesting 164 seats along with smaller allies.
Sena boss Uddhav Thackeray has said that his party ceded space to the BJP in the seat sharing deal because it wanted to be in power. He, however, said the number of Sena MLAs in the assembly will increase after the polls.
In 2014, the BJP and the Shiv Sena had fought the Maharashtra assembly polls separately. The BJP won 122 seats while the managed to get 63 seats. Both the parties got together after the elections to form a government in the state under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis.
Voting for the Maharashtra assembly elections will be held on October 21. The results will be declared on October 24.