MUMBAI: With their confidence at its peak, the BJP workers on Thursday demanded to snap ties with the party’s oldest ally Shiv Sena and contest the Maharashtra Assembly elections alone. The BJP leaders, however, have not approved the workers’ demand.
The chorus of contesting solo was echoed at BJP’s state council conclave here. Senior leader Madhu Chavan was the first to raise the demand. “Do you want to make BJP a bonsai? We should stop the three-player race now. We should set a target of winning more than 145 seats and go solo in the elections,” he said in the presence of state president Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and other top leaders.
The 4,000-odd BJP officials present for the conclave responded in huge applause to Chavan’s demand. Vice-president Sujit Thakur and women’s wing general secretary Varsha Bhosale backed Chavan.
“In this alliance business they (Shiv Sena) get profit and we always suffer loss. We should get at least half the profit if the alliance has to be continued,” Thakur said. Bhosale alleged that Shiv Sena workers did not work for the BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections. “We will not tolerate if we are reduced to a bonsai,” she said.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said the workers’ demand was legitimate. “It is natural to have an aspiration that the Chief Minister should be from our party. Madhu Chavan has injected life in the party,” he said.
Fadnavis said that he had noted the workers’ feelings but the party could not break the alliance in one day. “However honest are the workers’ feelings, friends are our companions in both good and bad days. We will reach your hard feelings to the alliance partner with the same intensity. But Maharashtra needs a parivartan (change) and it will happen through the alliance only. I do agree with your demand that BJP should get an appropriate status in the alliance,” Fadnavis said.
He earlier had tweeted that the BJP was preparing in all 288 constituencies. “We will get benefit of the work wherever we will contest. In rest of the constituencies, our friends will get the benefit,” he had stated without elaborating who will be the party’s friends.