BJP-Shiv Sena
BJP-Shiv Sena

Vasai: The fight between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena in Palghar Lok Sabha has taken a new twist with former legislator Vivek Pandit of Shramjivi Sanghatana extending its support to the BJP. However, in politics nothing comes without a price and in this case, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured Pandit to remove 27 villages from the Vasai-Virar municipal corporation to keep it in green zone. The main cause on which Pandit won the elections before 2014.

Shiv Sena was ahead in securing votes in 2014 assembly poll as compared to BJP. This time it seems with the support of Pandit who has strong hold in tribal across the Palghar district, BJP’s imported candidate Rajendra Gavit can get the play a little tough. However, the candidate of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) candidate is expected to play the spoiler in this entire game.

The Palghar LS will have by-poll on May 28, as the seat fell vacant after the demise of Chintaman Vanga, the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) of BJP. With only a week to go for the polls, there is no real atmosphere in the northern most suburbs outside Mumbai, mainly Virar, Nalasopara and Boisar assembly segment.

Congress and BVA have put up no hoardings of their candidates except for one in Virar. Hitendra Thakur, chief of BVA and four times legislator from Virar claimed his party candidate Baliram Jadhav has more chances to win the by-poll. Thakur claimed the political battle is between BVA and Shiv Sena. “Shrinivas, son of late Chintaman Vanga is candidate of Sena and he would get sympathy of hardcore BJP karykartas who were follower of late Vanga,” Thakur asserted and claimed, “BJP party workers are not happy with candidature of Gavit. It was mistake of BJP giving to ticket to such person who had criticised late Vanga till the day he joined BJP.”

In 2014 assembly poll, BVA had secured highest 3.70 lakh votes in five out of six assembly segment among Palghar LS constituency. BVA was on top position following Shiv Sena which had secured 2.45 lakh votes and BJP was on third position with 2.10 lakh votes despite Modi wave.

Vivek Pandit, chief of Shramjivi Sanghatna said, he has extended his support to BJP. “I want to end illegal empire of Bhai Thakur and Hitendra Thakur from the Vasai-Virar region. CM Fadnavis is against Thakur brothers and hence I supported BJP candidate,” said Pandit. He added, “I am fighting for 27 villages to be removed from the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation since 2009. I was attacked by Thakurs during protest for these villages during Congress-Nationalist Congress party regime. Thakur are those who always goes with ruling government. But, Fadnavis is against Thakur and hence, I have decided to go with BJP.”

Fadnavis has given assurance to give an affidavit before election that he will remove 27 villages from corporation regime, Pandit said. Pandit won assembly in 2009 from Vasai as independent. He was associate member of Shiv Sena and district president of Sena. He later designed from Sena in 2017. In a first rally of Gavit, BJP candidate at Palghar, instead of BJP workers, tribal and followers of Pandit were huge in numbers. On issue of imported candidate by BJP, Pandit said, “I have extended my support to BJP and later has choice to select their candidate. I have no objection on ticket of Gavit.”

There are Dahanu, Vikramgad, Palghar, Boisar, Nalasopara and Vasai segment of assembly in Palghar Lok Sabha. Dahanu remained bastion of Congress since 1962. Communist Party of India (Marxist) won the seat twice in 1978 and 2009. NCP won in 1999 and 2004. Late Krishna Ghoda was NCP legislator who later joined Sena, changed his constituency and won as Sena legislator in 2014 from Palghar. After his death, his son Amit won by-poll in 2026 from Palghar. Now BJP’ Pascal Dhanare is legislator from Dahanu.

Palghar reminded bastion of Sena since 1990 except in 2009 when Rajendra Gavit won as Congress candidate. Vikramgad represent by Vishnu Savra, senior BJP leader and minister for tribal welfare.Boisar, Nalasopara and Vasai comes under rule of BVA. Vilas Tare is second time legislator of BVA from Boisar. Kshitij  Hitendra Thakur is second time legislator of BVA from Nalasopara. Hitendra Thakur won as Congress candidate in 1995, later won 1999, 2004 poll as independent and won 2014 poll as BVA candidate. Vivek Pandit won the only election in 2009 from Vasai.

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