More than 50 workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including Mandal and Taluka heads and even district-level dignitaries, quit its Palghar unit between Sunday and Monday amid apprehension that the Lok Sabha seat currently held by the party, may be given to the Shiv Sena as part of the pre-poll alliance for the upcoming general elections.
Palghar BJP unit chief Pascal Dhanare said on Monday that eight mandal presidents of the party in the district have resigned and four more are likely to follow suit. “Since Sunday, more than 50 workers, including the 8 Mandal heads and Taluka heads, have resigned. I have a list, but we are not making it public yet as the party superiors have to take the final decision,” Dhanare told The Indian Express.
Dhanare warned that all the BJP office-bearers in the district, including taluka presidents, would quit if the seat was given to the Shiv Sena.
The seat was earlier represented by senior BJP leader Chintaman Wanaga. After his death, the Palghar bypoll was held in May last year, that saw a bitter face-off between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. The BJP won the seat with its nominee Rajendra Gavit defeating Shiv Sena candidate and Chintaman Wanaga’s son Shrinivas Wanaga.
Meanwhile, overcoming their strained ties and grandiose declarations of going solo, the BJP and Shiv Sena on Monday announced a seat-sharing pact for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state. As part of the seat-sharing arrangement, BJP will contest 25 seats and the Sena on 23 in the general election.
The announcement was made by BJP president Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray along with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at a joint press conference on Monday.
In polls for the 288-member state Assembly which are due this year, the two parties will contest an equal number of seats, after allotting allies their due share of segments.