MUMBAI: It turned out to be an embarrassing moment for the Shiv Sena on Friday when it came to light that an ex-corporator was introduced as a party MLA during a visit to drought-prone villages of Marathwada region as part of Sena’s programme.
Gautam Chabukswar, who represents Pimpri constituency (near Pune) in the current Assembly, was supposed to visit Osmanabad, one of the districts worst affected by drought.
However, former Mumbai corporator Yashodhar Phanse was introduced to the people as Chabukswar by former MLA Omraje Nimbalkar. The Sena had undertaken the ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ programme to establish connect with the people in its strongholds last week.
A video of one meeting where Phanse was being introduced as Chabukswar by Nimbalkar went viral on social media on Friday.
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had called an urgent meeting of 27 out of 40 MLAs who had skipped the party programme last week without citing any reason. Chabukswar told The New Indian Express that he was in Himachal Pradesh for meditation and Phanse denied charges that he impersonated the MLA. Nimbalkar said he didn’t know Chabukswar personally and hence inadvertently mentioned him during the programme.
“For last 15 days, I was in Himachal Pradesh and am now reaching Pune after completing my meditation course. I do not have any idea about the person, who went to the village impersonating me,” Chabukswar said. He said he did not attend the meeting called by Thackeray.
The tussle between political parties in Maharashtra has grown fierce with all devising special programmes to reach out to people.
The Opposition parties had organised ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ in three phases over past one month to highlight the issue of crop-loan waiver. The Shiv Sena too immediately announced its ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyan’ to take the political credit for highlighting the issues of crop-loan waiver and Tur dal procurement.
BJP, meanwhile, had announced its ‘Shivar Samvad Sabha’ mission.