Eight mandal unit chiefs of the BJP in Palghar district of Maharashtra have resigned amid apprehension that the Lok Sabha seat here, currently held by the party, may be given to the Shiv Sena as part of 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.
“They resigned on Sunday to protest any possible move by the party to give the Palghar Lok Sabha seat to the Shiv Sena,” he told PTI. 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 eight resignations have come amid speculation in local BJP circles that the Palghar constituency may be given to the Sena as part of the seat-sharing arrangements between the two parties ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The seat was earlier represented by senior BJP leader Chintaman Wanaga. After his death, the Palghar bypoll held in May last year 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.
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While the BJP has indicated that it would like to form an alliance with the Sena for the Lok Sabha polls, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has been giving mixed signals. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had on February 14 met Thackeray, whose party is currently a coalition partner in
the BJP-led central and Maharashtra governments but has been regularly hitting out at its senior ally on various issues. Fadnavis later said that they had “positive talks” on some state-related issues.
Meanwhile, Dhanare said he would meet Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve and Chief Minister Fadnavis to convey the “mood and anger” among the party men over any possible move to give the Palghar Lok Sabha seat to Shiv Sena. The district party leaders and office-bearers held a
meeting on Sunday to discuss the issue, he added.