CHAITANYA MARPAKWAR Mumbai
City BJP president Raj Purohit seems to have become a perennial omission from the BJPs scheme of things for the BMC polls. After being skipped from the partys report card for the BMC polls released earlie
r this month, Purohits name is now missing from the BJPs list of star campaigners.
The list of 20 persons, listed as alt39 star campaignersalt39 by the BJP and submitted to the state election commission doesnalt39t include Purohit. The list includes top BJP leaders like LK Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Jawdekar and Venkaiah Naidu from the Centre.
From the state, leaders like Gopinath Munde, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Eknath Khadse, Vinod Tawde, Devendra Phadnavis and Raghunath Kulkarni have been included.
To match the Congressalt39 star power, chief ministers of BJP ruled states like Narendra Modi, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Dr Raman Singh have also been included.
While actor Smruti Irani has been included, the likes of Shaina NC and Kiron Kher are not on the list. Former MP Kirit Somaiya has also made it to the list while former Prime Minster and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee is not on the list this time.
Interestingly, being the city unit chief of the BJP, it is Purohit who has been releasing the lists of BJP candidates. Both the Congress and NCP have included their city presidents Kripashankar Singh and Narendra Verma in the list of star campaigners but Purohit is missing from the BJPs list.
However, party insiders hinted that infighting within different factions of the party was the reason for skipping Purohit alt39 knowingly.alt39 Sources also pointed out his increasing isolation in the party after the alt39 paani purialt39 controversy. However, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari denied any of this. ” We have a common list for all municipal corporations and there is no special list for Mumbai. Since he ( Purohit) has no impact outside Mumbai his name has been excluded. We didnalt39t want to waste one slot by naming Purohit in the statewide list when he will only campaign in Mumbai,” Bhandari explained.