THANE: The Shramjeevi Sanghatana, an outfit working for tribal welfare, which supported the BJP in past elections, has decided to contest some seats on its own in the next month's Maharashtra Assembly polls.
Despite the Sanghatana, led by former MLA Vivek Pandit, supporting the BJP all along, the ruling party has "not done anything for tribals", the outfit's general secretary Balaram Bhoir told reporters on Sunday. "We will surely contest all six Assembly seats in Palghar district and at least four seats in Thane," he said.
At a meeting of the Sanghatana office-bearers from Thane, Palghar, Nashik, Raigadh and Mumbai held here on Saturday, there was a unanimous demand that this time it should contest polls on its own, Bhoir said. "The members were of the opinion that the Sanghatana should neither support anyone nor take support from anyone," he said.
He said that they also pointed out that most of the demands of tribals were pending for years, with the ruling party only giving assurances and not going beyond that. "It was on account of our support that the BJP nominees could get elected in Parliament elections from Thane and Palghar, but this time we are sure to win at least a couple of seats and even ensure the defeat of candidates put up by the ruling party in some constituencies," Bhoir said.
Pandit, who currently heads a committee on tribal welfare, has been accorded the status of a Minister of State by the Maharashtra government.