BMC elctions: Blame Ravindra Mirlekar, if the saffron pact breaks

Mumbai: Ravindra Mirlekar, who is a hardcore Shiv Sainik and staunch believer in the party’s ideology besides being a close confidante of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, can easily be named the architect if and when the two-decade-old saffron alliance between Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) breaks up.

The official announcement of the break-up is expected to be pronounced on Monday from the ‘horse’s mouth.’

According to Sena insiders, Mirlekar is also Sampark Pramukh (district in-charge) of Jalgaon, the bastion of former BJP minister Eknath Khadse, who had helped in snapping the 25-year-old alliance with Sena before 2014-assembly election.

“Mirlekar was deliberately inducted in the three-member committee for seat negotiation with BJP by Uddhav Thackeray,” the party source claimed. He revealed that Anil Parab, Sena leader and member of the committee and Ashish Shelar, BJP’s city wing president are close friends and in the same business of satellite channel cable network. “Thackeray may have doubts that Parab and Shelar could adjust some seats to go for alliance, specifically in South Mumbai. Mirlekar was once vibhag pramukh (Regional incharge) of the same area and hence he became the third member of committee,” the sources said.

“Both Parab and Mirlekar are aggressive, but for Mirlekar, party interest is important and any other issue and hence sometime he had scolded party cadres and leaders. Because of Mirlekar, Nashik and Pune had faced issues in past. But, he will not speak any word of his own. He may have instructions from the party president and hence he had put forth a proposal of just 60 seats before the BJP,” the sources said.

Sources added that Thackeray is very clear about the alliance. Even on Sunday, while speaking to the media, he said that there is no deadline. That means either he has hope from the Chief Minister to negotiate on some formula.

According to sources, the political happening at the level of BJP on Sunday night will play an important role for Thackeray to take final decision about the alliance as he has to address party cadre on Monday on the occasion of the late Bal Thackeray’s birth anniversary at Shanmukhanand Hall. “If the alliance breaks, Mirlekar will be responsible, who is in-charge of Khadse’s Jalgaon. It would be Sena’s ‘tit for tat’ replay,” the source concluded.

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